Meet Div, a passionate sports physiotherapist and pilates instructor, whose journey from football to rowing and running has helped share her expertise.
Hi Div, can you give us a little blurb about you and your sport history?
I’ve always been a lover of staying active and moving my body. From playing football at a young age to transitioning into rowing and eventually into running with the goal of completing my first marathon. Ultimately this manifested itself into my work as a sports physiotherapist and pilates instructor. You’ll find me teaching Pilates at Sala, corporate clients at FAT and practicing at the Urban Physio in Ponsonby. I was the lead physiotherapist for the University Futsal Ferns for championships held in Portugal. Working behind the scenes to ensure athlete health and wellbeing was both a challenging and rewarding experience.
What are the most common running injuries and how can we prevent them in training?
Plantar fasciitis, achilles & patella tendon injuries and shin splints are what I commonly see in runners. Often this is caused by an increase in training loads and intensity that isn’t relative to rest and recovery. Poor running biomechanics, posture and footwear can also contribute to the onset of these injuries - the easiest way to combat this is to engage in strength and conditioning!
At Road Runners we are focusing on the S&C. For you, how important is strength during marathon training?
Incredibly so! When considering the repetitive nature of running whether that be tackling the traverse, half or the full marathon we put a lot of stress on our joints and lower body from our toes all the way to our hips! Strength and conditioning is not only a session where we can rest the body from running loads but also prime the muscles to enhance our future runs. It’s both an injury prevention and performance enhancing tool - what’s not to love about that!
Which key strength exercises do you recommend the most?
Glutes! Glutes! Glutes! I cannot stress it enough! Strengthening your gluteal muscles can aid in enabling good posture further down the chain in your knees and feet creating a solid platform for you to run for longer. My favourite exercise to activate your glutes is a clam. So simple and easy to progress as you grow stronger.
What would be the top 3 stretching exercises for runners?
The posterior chain! Calves, hamstrings and glutes. It’s easy to get into a good habit of stretching this muscle group dynamically (moving) before a run and then finishing off with a series of static (still) stretches.
Do you have any other advice for our community?
Listen to your body, act proactively and don’t be too hard on yourself!
Feel free to contact me via email@example.com