Last Sunday I completed what I call my “big training run”. This is a 35km run (just over 21 miles) which is my furthest distance to run during training. It was delayed a week due to my fall.
Some people like to run further in training but for me it’s a distance that has me on my feet for over 4 hours and tests my endurance to a level I can recover from well enough before my marathon event.

It is also a distance that will highlight if there are any issues or niggles that will need to be resolved. It’s for this reason that after a few days of recovery and couple of easy runs I always make an appointment with my physiotherapist to see how things are travelling. Inevitably though, after weeks of hard training, there are usually a few niggles that make them felt in a way that this appointment is unavoidable. Regardless… My Physio is my Friend.

This is where my soapbox comes out!

It took me a long while to find a physiotherapist that not only suited me, but supported me in my running goals, one that dealt with the cause and not just the symptoms, and ultimately one that I could trust.

Here are my tips for selecting the right physio for you:

  1. Get a referral from a friend. Selecting a physio based purely on a google search, location or price, etc is not a good idea. Skill is not related to convenience or cost. You also need to know if the physio’s skills are aligned to your requirements. Referral from a friend is a great place to start. Alternatively ask around at the local specialist running shop or online forums.
  2. Make sure they listen to you and supportive of your goals. Any physio that starts talking about themselves and is either surprised/shocked that you run or tells you that you can’t/shouldn’t run in the first appointment are big red flags. This doesn’t mean they can’t be realistic about where you are at or time frames, etc but you should be the priority and they should be trying to get as much information about you in order to provide a proper assessment. Further to this, make sure you clarify your expectations from the beginning.
  3. Don’t seek a magic diagnosis. Often the reason you start seeing a physio is because of pain or injury. This is likely to be a symptom. You often need to resolve that issue first to get to an underlying one, but this can definitely be an extended process which may involve one issues resolution and the development of another with breaks in between. Whilst the short term goal is always to run pain free, in the long term you want to know the real reason why issues are happening. And yes, sore feet may be a symptom of an issue nowhere near your feet and where you’d least expect it.
  4. Give the physio a chance. IE make sure you do what they suggest. This is a no brainer really. It’s a two way street, you need to do the hard work away from the session to get the full benefits.
  5. If in doubt, seek a second opinion. If you’re in a situation where you feel you’re not being listened to, or uncomfortable, or it is a gut feel that things are “not right”, seek an alternative. This suggestion is not about physio hopping, but about finding the right physio for you. Always refer to points 1 through 4 above.

I am certainly no expert and the tips above are based on my own experiences. It took me 3 goes to find the right physio for me and it was based on a fellow runner’s recommendation. Physiotherapy or related/similar treatments can be an expensive part of our so called inexpensive sport, but staying on top of things will keep you running in the long term. “tune-up” sessions are just as valuable as seeing your physio when injured.

My physio has been the key to getting me to the start line of every marathon I have run, and my Boston journey is no exception Thank you for all of your support Function Physio!

If you are looking for a Physio in Sydney, see the team at Function Physio – Gladesville or Putney. www.functionphysio.com.au

I could not recommend them highly enough. They will look after you.

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