Eastenders is on again, and as I can't stand the stupid bunch of whining southern nancies and their insufferably badly written storylines (I'm a Corry fan myself, eastenders is a bunch of bad actors, Corry is gritty real life drama) It's a chance for me to pass half an hour on here. I would watch University Challenge, but Denise keeps spoiling it by shouting out the answers (lol) so I sky + that.
I've been out for a walk today, on the advice of one of the coaches yesterday, packed deep heat into a compression bandage and strapped it around the knee before setting off on a few laps of a 2 mile route near to home. Shorts and a knee strapping on an injury, I should have been arrested for impersonating a proper athlete! But seriously, the short laps meant that if the injury broke down, I wouldn't have 5 miles to hobble home, I could stop and get home within minutes without doing any further damage and R.I.C.E as soon as possible.
I. Ice, to reduce swelling
(Added later. In answer to the e-mail, elevate the injured body part above the heart so the blood has to travel uphill, gravity slows the blood down and it doesn't aggrevate the swelling on the injury further.)
In the end it wasn't necessary, and I got a good 10 miles in just under two hours. Not over fast, but comfortable with no reaction to the knee apart from the little pain which was already there. Funnily enough it still hurts when I walk slower or put any twist on the knee, so it's not mended yet but at least it's getting there.
Which brings us to injury prevention.
This is not encyclopaedic, or complete, and anything forgotten will be added later, and if not, please let me know.
First, equipment. Make sure it all fits. Not just shoes but all equipment. Don't buy anything especially for the race, it's not a fashion parade and five miles in if that fancy new sports top gives you irritating nipple chaffe, then you will regret it. Get at least two or three and try them all out in long walks. Also used socks, shorts, underwear, everything. All worn in and verified as comfortable.
Training. The more distance training you do, the more able your body will be to stand up to the distance. Only walking long distances will toughen up the soles of the feet, and the same rules apply. Don't buy expensive shoe insoles and decide they are only good enough for the race. If your feet are used to the shoes, don't change them. And, most importantly, train at the same speed and in the same style you'll be walking in the race. Try and do something different on the day and you'll soon find out.
Warm up. Before training and racing. Stretching, all over if possibly, including back, stomach arms and shoulders, as they are all used in walking, especially over hills. As for warming up itself, a mile or so walking at slower speeds so the muscles can get warm, i.e. start working and burning nutrients efficiently, blood vessels open up and let the blood flow easier. Heart rate builds up and starts clearing lactic acid. If you try and set off full speed straight away the cold muscles can cramp up and cause injury.
Walk properly, don't push too far or fast, stretching muscles beyond their limits can cause damage. If you approach a junction whilst training and see a car coming, don't suddenly break into a sprint to keep ahead, using the wrong muscles in this way can easily pull or tear a muscle or ligament.
Avoid walking on a camber, the lean and subsequent twist can hurt the muscles and joints, especially on a long walk. Also try and avoid quickly walking onto different surfaces, slick paving slabs fron tarmac, or even metal drain covers, especially in the rain, (thanks, Michael Bonney!) an unexpected slip can cause a twist or pull to any part of the leg, and as people will be walking long distances, a long walk back with a twisted ankle can be agony. Avoid going round corners too quickly. A 90 degree turn at full speed can put pressure on the knees and ankles, so slow down for corners.
Keep hydrated. When dehydrated the mind wanders and you can lose concentration. When this happens you change style of walking which can result in blisters, twisted ankles or sprains
And finally, warm down. Don't finish a 20 mile walk at full speed, rush into the house and fall asleep on a comfy chair. The body is still in athlete mode and can cramp up, and if it isn't given chance to warm down can lead to muscle injury. Walk slowly for the last mile and when you get home do a few more stretches.
Got to go now, Coronation streets back on, and Dev's just revealed he stopped insuring the shop a week before a tram came through the roof. What's the chances of that happening!
Tara for now.
PS, Also learn from experience. For example, don't apply deep heat to your, say for example, knee, then rub your eye twenty minutes later without washing your hands. Not that I'd do that, oh no, I'm not that stupid. It, erm, happened to a friend of mine. I forget his name. Said it stung for ages all the way through Coronation Street.