marathon running physiotherapy

It takes a village

Have you ever heard the saying “it takes a village” ?

You might have heard someone like Roger Federer imply it, or Lucy Bartholomew hint at it. They are athletes in very solitary sports, but their success depends on an entire ‘village’ of people.  They might be the person in the limelight or the one winning races or championships, but they appreciate that we can very rarely, if ever, achieve these things entirely alone.  


Your Village

All of us have a ‘village,’ even if we are not professional sports people.  Your village could include your family and your enthusiastic friends to start, but the village is bigger than that.  It includes coaches, health professionals, therapists, coffee shop baristas, pilates instructors, work colleagues and more.  It’s basically anyone who is helping and supporting you to achieve what you want to achieve.  I certainly love being a part of the village for each of the recreational runners I coach. 


My team

For me, Port Melbourne Physiotherapy and Pilates are certainly part of that village.  I attend a weekly pilates class on a Wednesday and have been known to have the occasional needle stuck into my legs.  Over the years that I have been coming to PMPP, they have given me so much advice and support. Never more so than in 2017, when I ran 17 marathons in 2017, raising $18,500 for the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Sally was the first person that I told about the 17 marathons challenge. I asked her opinion whether it was possible to do with a niggly achilles at the time.  From that moment on, the village expanded to include Sheree, Ali, Julia, Sarah and more.  Ali was sticking 30 + needles in my legs and Sarah taught my pilates class and helped me stretch out aching muscles.  Sally offered me treatment options, new research papers, and the venue for the final treadmill marathon. Everyone came together and supported.


PMPP’s support

So what are the top 3 ways that PMPP supported me and the ’17 marathons in 2017′ effort.

1. The Final Marathon  

PMPP played host to the 17th and final marathon. We transformed the pilates studio into a great area with treadmills, partner stalls, a BBQ and more.  I would not have wanted to host the final marathon anywhere else.  It was perfect.  On that day we auctioned thousands of dollars of prizes and raised so much awareness for the cause.  Channel 7 covered it on the news and together we reached or goal of $17,000 raised.  You can check out the video of the final marathon in the link below, with cameo appearances from a few PMPP staff and regulars.

2. Setting me up for success

Before the challenge even started, I gathered a few of the team and asked for their expert opinions on how best to recover. I also asked what habits I needed to form in order to complete the challenge in one piece.  I was worried about my body breaking down, so I wanted to do everything that I could to prevent that. I needed a few guidelines from the professionals about recovery and healthy habits.  The conversation turned into a series of recovery guidelines that served me after each marathon throughout the year.

3. Physio, Massage, Pilates catered to me

At times it felt like I was in the PMPP building almost every day getting some sort of treatment.  Thankfully it was mostly (although not always) preventative.  The aim was to invest in my recovery (point 2) and my pre-hab so that I avoided injury as much as possible.  Even when the achilles issue did flare up in the middle of the year, the PMPP team were on hand to help settle the injury and my anxiety with advice and treatment.  The catering of my pilates classes was great. When I was tired immediately after a marathon, Sarah focused on stretching, when I was feeling good, we worked on strength.


Take home message

I would really encourage you to think about who you have and who you might need in your village to help you achieve your health goals. 

I am certainly thankful to the team at PMPP for getting me through 2017 and all the different roles that they played that year.  I am still coming to my regular pilates class on a Wednesday, but thankfully there are a few less physio and needling sessions these days!

You can take a few minutes to check out the ’17 marathons in 2017’ video here.

~ Chris White – GoRun Running Coach


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