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Serving runners at the finish line with care

Trio of physiotherapists have been on the job for last seven years

Gulf News

Dubai: For the last seven years, they have been providing runners who reach the finish line in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon with timely treatment to avoid any injuries.

Physiotherapists Beverley Strathearn, Cathy Van Harmelen and Deirdre Keulemans of Orthosports Medical Centre will once again be busy today providing physiotherapy services at the finish line.

Speaking to Gulf News, Strathearn said: “It is very important to take steps after the marathon to prevent any injuries. A gentle sport massage to flush out toxins is very good.”

Harmelen advises that one should not suddenly stop exercising.

“A gentle swim and walk the next day after marathon is vital.”

According to Keulemans, the use of compression garments for 24 hours after the run helps to relieve post-treatment soreness. “Cool baths with the temperature at 9 to 10 degrees are also good.”

The common injuries from running long distances include Iliotibial Back Syndrome (ITB), overuse injury of the knee, hip and ankle, including Achilles Tendinopathy and muscle cramps. When asked whether a runner can immediately prepare for another marathon, Strathearn said: “As soon as any soreness is gone and there are no injuries present, one can slowly start preparing for another marathon.

To a query as to how many days one should rest before taking part in the next marathon, she said: “It depends on each runner’s fitness level. Relatively a month or two [for] an average runner before taking part in the next marathon.”

From their seven years of experience at the finish line, what is their advice to running enthusiasts?

“Enjoy running but listen to your body. Keep the body conditioned and in top physical shape. If you feel that there is something wrong or if an injury arises, consult with a specialist,” says Harmelen.

Keulemans’s advice on the number of days one should train to be fit for race day is: “One can run five to six days [per week] with varied distances, but again, this depends on their fitness level. If you’re new to marathon, there are several groups of experienced runners here who can coach and provide guidance and tips.”


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