Let's face it, as a practitioner I make my living by helping people in most cases overcome injury. However, as a human being first and someone that actually cares about the people I treat and the community I live in, I would much rather see you on the field more, and in my clinic less. Yes, the worse business model around. But if I was in it for the money I would have chosen a different career path.
A lot of the work I do with my patients is educating them. Helping them understand how and why something has happened and then setting them up for future success. As much as I love seeing everyone, in my industry, less is more!
So, this brings me to the topic of pre-season training. What is it and why is it important? Regardless of where you are on the sporting spectrum, recreational to elite, pre-season training could make a significant impact on how well you play, reduce chance of injury and enjoy your season of sport.
What is pre-season training?
Pre-season training is training that occurs in the timeframe directly proceeding the actual sports season. So, for instance, if the sport runs from September to February, pre-season training via cardiovascular activities, weight training, and sports-related drills will probably begin sometime around June. This gives the player a few months to get his or her body into prime shape before the season formally begins.
The amount of pre-season training necessary to get up to playing level is often determined by how much time was taken off after the season ended. Of course, if training was continued during the off time, then getting season-ready will likely take much less work, thus reducing pre-season demands.
The Importance of Pre-Season Training
This type of training is important because it prepares the players for the oftentimes grueling trainings and games that occur in the midst of the season. If no pre-season training were to occur, it would be like running a marathon after having spent the past three months not running at all. It will feel harder than ever and even if you do finish, you’ll likely have some type of injury due to your body not being properly conditioned.
In the end, pre-season training is just as important as training that occurs during the season, if not more so.
By Chris Bowles
Running. Love or hate it, it can be an amazing tool to facilitate enormous social and personal impact.
My journey with running began over 25 years ago. I hated it. I was not good at it. It hurt and it was essentially forced upon me to help me lose weight. I was very overweight as a child and this was how my dad helped me get fit. Leaving the judgement aside my experience as a runner has evolved so much since then.
Moving through different stages of my life, it has always been a corner stone that I could turn to, and our relationship with each other has gone through some tough times. But we keep coming back together.
My perception of running and health and fitness changed significantly when I became involved with Can Too in 2008. Here I could see that exercise could be more than a means of self improvement. Exercise could be a powerful tool to help heal, to create hope and to impact powerful social change. Can Too taught me the power of meaningful connections, supportive communities and running.
The work that Can Too continue to do today, I personally believe, is creating a paradigm shift in the health and wellness community. The fitness industry has a powerful impact on human transformation in more ways than one, and harnessed with the intention of not just supporting individual goals but community improvement could completely change the landscape we live in - for the better!
Particularly in an era of rapid growth in social media platforms. Meaningful, human connections is becoming more essential for our well-being.
This brings me back to running, why I still continue to run and why I facilitate learn to run programs and running groups to inspire others.
Recently, I completed a local fun run of 11km. Along side me were a dozen other women who put their faith and confidence in me to guide them through a training program and across the finishing line.
The results were incredible. But the relationships, the change in confidence and self-perception and the care and support for each other is what resonated the loudest for me.
We run for ourselves but we run for each other. Regardless of where we are on our journey there is support, encouragement and inclusiveness that lifts you up not puts you down. This not only impacts our health and fitness, it permeates through to all other areas of our life. We are cheerleaders for each other and we are cheerleaders for those we engage with.
I write this blog with hope. I hope that the small changes we make as a community of cheerleaders will create a landscape for our children to grow up in, where they too raise each other up. Where they don't compete to be better than anyone else but they compete to bring out their best and the best in each other. That the destination is not status or power. But measured on how well we lived and how well we helped others live.
By Alana Bowles
Learn more about the Health Associates Couch to 5km here
As a father first, the passion and care I pour into my children's development has no end. I want them to have every opportunity and for them to be able to realise their full potential. At 7 years old my daughter competes in gymnastics, plays soccer attends swimming lessons and dances with school. She is very active outside of these activities and says her favourite thing to do is climb.
Although she participates in many activities I am still cautious about how this may impact her health phycially and mentally. Ironic, no?
Recently, we decided to reduce the training load. So, swimming was cancelled over winter. We wanted our daughter to have time to play and just be. A hard decision, but I think the best for now.
I share this with you because I am one of you. A caring parent that wants the best for their child. I understand that there is a fine line and sometimes it can get crossed. Sometimes we need to know when and what is enough.
This brings me to some recent developments in the athletics arena, but something that is transferable across many fields,
In November 2016, youth development expert Wolfgan Killer facilitated a seminar on the best practices for the development of under 16 athletes. He stipulates that the objectives of a successful training program for young athletes should be to achieve broad physical development focusing on agility, balance, co-ordination, endurance and flexibility. The priority of a training program for athletes under 16 years of age should be general conditioning, not a tailored program for a specific event group.
What I find most interesting about Wolfgan's recommendations is that he suggests that young athletes to engage in multiple sports over the year. Finding that athletes that engaged in at least four sports are more likely to develop a broad range of fundamental movement skills improving their chance at athletic success. Ideally, he recommends that at least one of these sports is athletics, swimming or gymnastics as these are the foundation sports, which develop the fundamental skills of all sports.
Wolfgan recognises the importance of understanding the difference between a childs physiological age and their biological age. Stating that there can often be a 5-year variation in the development and maturity between athletes of the same biological age. An understanding of this is essential when programming for athletes particularly between the age of 11 and 15. Those who develop quicker are often at an advantage during this stage.
Special attentions need to be given to managing the recovery of young athletes. This can vary significantly between individuals and can also fluctuate as they mature or going through periods of rapid growth.
As a general rule an athlete should recover from a normal training session within 2 days. For a high intensity training session or after a competition this may take upto 7 days. Ideally, light training would be scheduled into these days.
Here are some great tips to keep in mind for U16 athletes:
Sport needs to fun and enjoyable and it is important for children to get the rest and recovery they need. It is OK to have some time off to rest and to reduce training loads.
We want to encourage our children to be active for life. Let sport build their character not just their performance and let's create environments that build self-esteem.
I hope this information has been as informative to you as it has for me.
Source: Athletics Coach Magazine, April
By Chris Bowles
Name: Hayden Smith
How did you get into Bobsleigh?
I come from a rugby and sprinting background. After competing in a 100m race back in 2014 another coach told me that I was probably on the "too heavy" side of being a successful sprinter and recommended that I give bobsleigh a try.
What were your first thoughts about the sport?
I just remember getting to the bottom of the track after my first run and thinking "oh no, I just quit my job to do this". The only way I can describe that first run would be like being in a frozen washing machine on spin cycle going >100kph. I ended up going back to the top of the track for another run and liked it a whole lot more the second time round. It isn't a comfortable ride in the back, there are a lot of bumps and unfamiliar pressures; nothing can really prepare you for your first run.
Goals & aspirations: Compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea
Training requirements: Training consists of 8 training sessions (2 x pushing, 2 x sprints and 4 x weight lifting) and 2 recovery sessions per week. Generally a total of 15-16 hours/week.
Biggest challenges: Unfortunately I had a training injury in September 2015 where I broke my fibula and tore all of the ligaments in my ankle. The injury has been a big challenge with consistent treatment and follow up surgeries. I'm confident I am now back close to 100% with the help of a great team of health professionals and still consider myself somewhat lucky to still be competing.
How do you stay focused? I stay focused by keeping my eyes on the end goal of the games next year. I cascade overall goals down to daily training goals each day which allow me to focus on doing the right things now.
What do you love most about your sport? I love the speed and the adrenaline but also the camaraderie that you get from a close knit team that lives and trains together all season.
How do you qualify etc.?
To qualify as a team we will have 8 races from November to January where we accumulate points which add to our IBSF ranking. If our ranking is high enough we will be given the quota to nominate a sled (hopefully in both the 2-man and 4-man formats). Once we have the quota spot it's a matter of selecting the best team of 4 to go and compete.
Have you been to Korea? Seen the track?
I didn't get to travel to Korea last season for the test event. Unfortunately I had to have surgery on my ankle In February so I was still recovering from that. I watched the team race from back home and it looks to be a great facility with a pretty challenging track.
What's your goal for the Olympics?
Our goal is to start times that are in the top half of the field. Obviously we are challenged with the equipment we use compared to other well-funded nations but it's not really an excuse. Hopefully we can get a good start then have our pilot weave some magic.
Who do you compete with?
I first started the sport pushing Heath Spence but moved over to push Lucas Mata last season as Heath took on a coaching position with the Chinese team. We currently have 3 other brakemen in the team; David Mari, Lachlan Reidy and Gareth Nichols.
What does the road to the Winter Olympics look like for you?
We leave for Calgary in August and complete a training block using the Ice House. We will start sliding on the tracks once there is ice in October and will have races from November to January.
What do you do off the ice?
Off the ice I work as a Risk Assurance Analyst for Lion (a dairy and drinks company) here in Sydney. They are extremely accommodating to my schedule and always flexible with my training requirements. It's a rarity to be able to compete overseas for a few months each year and keep a job that continues my career development, so I can't thank them enough for that!
Can you tell me a little bit about your swimwear company?
The swimwear company is a bit of a side project. I really don't believe in asking for handouts from people without giving anything in return so it's a good way to help me fund my sporting endeavours.
Personal highlights? A couple of podium finishes (top 6 for bobsleigh) in Park City on the North American Cup Circuit last season would have to be my highlight so far. We had a great crew down there that worked together really well and that showed in our results. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come next season!
Advice for young athletes? Definitely to stick with it and keep working hard, with the right attitude and commitment to training you can reach your goals. Too often athletes with buckets of talent throw it all away with the wrong attitude.
Favourite Quote? No quit, all hustle
With changes in lifestyles, footwear and activities of daily living, foot and lower limb structural abnormalities are becoming more prominent.
This increase can also be attributed to the fact that people are now more than ever before, conscious of their feet and the shape that its takes or forms over time.
A common problem that presents to podiatry clinics is one of malalignment of the lesser toes. The most often of these is an affliction referred to as ‘hammer-toeing’ of the toes.
A hammertoe deformity is one that is characterised by a retraction of the middle toe joints (dorsiflexed) whilst the furthest most part of the toe is curled downwards (plantar flexed). The result of which, is a raised, triangular styles middle portion of the toe joint which has a tendency to form pressure sports due to shoe pressure and a front part of the toe that is prone to callousing and corns. Hammertoes are not life threatening, however if left untreated may get worse and more debilitating over time.
Hammertoes have a number of potential causes which are listed below. It is important to realise however, that this deformity can be the result of a single factor or a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Some common causes of hammertoes includes:
Most patients will present to a podiatry clinic with complaints of irritation along the top (dorsal) surface of their toes. This often corresponds to areas of pressure or rubbing along the surface of the shoe. Pressure induced irritation can often be due to callousing, corns or inflamed skin. Secondly to this, people with this deformity can present with concerns about the general appearance of positioning of their toes or pain along the balls of their feet which may be a secondary symptoms from the altered biomechanics caused by retracted toes. This discomfort may then result in an altered gait cycle which may impact on joints further up the chain including knees, hips and lower back.
In order to provide a bit of guidance with regards to treatment options available, below are a few options which may work to alleviate either the symptoms associated with hammertoe, or help correct the hammertoe deformity itself.
There is no magic bullet to dealing with hammertoes. This is why it is essential to have any concerns about your foot, toe or lower limb alignment checked out by a podiatric specialist who can guide you as to the best and most appropriate treatment protocol for your presenting complaint.
By Anel Kapur
For an appointment with a Health Associates podiatrist please contact 9542 3330 or book online