I spoke with a physio earlier in the week about injury trends around the marathon. He said he sees a definite spike in the 3-4 weeks in the lead up to race day. In most online training plans, this is commonly where you see the big volume increases, people committed to a 17 miler on one weekend with 20-22 miles the following weekend, with a cheeky 10 miler thrown in during the week. I’ve also been seeing people coming into Profeet with small injuries and discomfort wondering if their shoe is the cause of all their ills.
In most cases it isn’t. A failure to address flexibility and strength in conjunction with run training has led to this point. It is the result of a fatigued system breaking down. In my opinion, it isn’t necessary to run those distances prior to a race, particularly for those embarking on it as a one off. Running a marathon is an achievement, it’s hard. If I was running 26 miles, I wouldn’t want to run 90% of that 2 weeks before.
I understand the psychological benefit of getting miles under your belt. But getting miles and miles of poor technical running only reinforces poor movement patterns. I think people would be better served getting some coaching and running shorter milages of good technique. Strength training would also have a massive impact as many don’t have the muscular ability to absorb the landings and maintain good alignment; the amount of people I see with a trendelenburg gait is incredible! Less miles, less chance of cumulative fatigue, better movement patterning, less chance of injury. Leave it to the crowds on race day to get you round and provide the psychological lift.
I’m not sure if anyone has seen the video of the Northampton Saints player Calum Clark’s ‘challenge’ on the leicester player Rob Hawkins that broke his elbow. Hawkins is likely to spend a lot of time on the sidelines as a result and, with most of his limited club appearances being from the bench, could even be looking at an end to his time at Leicester.
Clark’s challenge was cynical in the extreme and was serving no purpose, particularly as it happened after the whistle. I think that Hawkins would be well within his rights to take legal action against Clark if it has a detrimental affect on his career and earnings, he has been stripped of his ability to play and compete for his place in the Leicester team.
I’ve played a lot of rugby, it’s a physical sport and am more than aware that fights break out and cheap shots happen. However, when these cause serious injury, the person guilty is culpable. If this happened at the amateur level to someone who, for example, was a serving police constable and was unable to fulfil his duties as a result, I would expect charges to be pressed. A friend of mine lost teeth when someone took a 20m run up and punched him during a scuffle that didn’t involve him. These incidents need to be stamped out and a long ban for Clark would send the correct message out to players at all levels. This type of behaviour isn’t welcome in the game.
It was a great result for England at the weekend. I managed to catch the second half and witness the destruction of the Irish scrum which was a real high for the England team to finish the tournament on. 4 wins from 5 games including 3 away from home is no mean feat in test match rugby, especially given the amount of discussion throughout the whole tournament surrounding Stuart Lancaster’s future. He managed to shield the squad from those distractions enabling them to perform as well as they did. So, after such success, what now for England?
In the coming weeks they have big decisions to take regarding the make up of the coaching team to take the squad to the next world cup. For me it is hard to see past Stuart Lancaster taking the role, but the big issue will be whether they can secure the services of Andy Farrell whom Saracens are far from keen to see leave. Assuming that release can be negotiated, the management/coaching team have obviously created an environment the players enjoy and can perform in. You can only assume that as the squad and management gain experience that this will improve.
England have a young but very promising group of players and 3 years to get them ready for the rigours international tournament rugby. I think it would be a waste of the tournament just gone to once again change the setup and start from scratch. That said, Nick Mallett is a very experienced international coach with a great track record. It’s a tough call, but for me, Lancaster gets the job.