The Cycle of Injury: What is it, and how can you get out of it?

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The cycle of injury


If you are reading this, you have almost certainly been injured before, or are right now. It may come as no surprise to you that whether an injury or trauma is sustained during activity or not, the effects can be more far reaching than simply mobility or your ability to train!
When injured for extended periods of time, we go through what has been likened to a psychological grieving process
This can occur if you do an activity regularly, and are unable to do it. Your identity can be challenged because you are unable to do what you want to do as it is part of who you are. Emotions like frustration, impatience and even anger set in, and making impulsive decisions often lead to the wrong approach to returning to sport and subsequent recurrence of either the same injury, or commonly an associated (new) one!
So, how does this happen? How can you minimise your chance of re-injury, maximise your ability to resist injury, and progress towards your goals?
Due to the wide variety of injuries, either “acute” (usually one off/short-term) or “chronic” (recurring injuries that manifest themselves over longer periods of time) I will use a case study to illustrate the cycle of injury in a fairly new runner:



Case study: Tony P

Tony P is training for his second half marathon. He finished his first after minimal training, but wants to improve his time and his ability to sustain pace.
Tony has increased his training from once or twice a week to four or five times a week and enjoys running with his local club as well as by himself. While doing a higher intensity run, he feels the side of his knee start to analysistighten, which develops into pain, which forces him to walk. He tries to run again 2 days later but the same thing occurs and he walks home frustrated as he only has five weeks until race day.
Tony is told by his doctor to rest his knee altogether for 3 weeks, and decides to rest for a couple of weeks thinking that if he can get a couple of weeks training in before the race he can still finish and maybe do well. Ten days into his rest, Tony is bored of not running and goes for a ten minute run to test the knee. Although he can feel it a little, it gets no worse and Tony decides to go and do intervals that evening as he feels the pain has subsided and also wants to see his friends at the club. While doing a fast interval, Tony’s knee becomes slightly more painful but not enough to put him off and he finishes the session with some discomfort. A few days later, Tony resumes training but while on a long run he feels his knee in some discomfort. He continues to run at a slower pace for the 6 miles back to his house. In the last 2 miles he can feel an aching in his hip on the other side to his knee. During the half marathon, Tony has to stop as his hip and Achilles’ tendon are sore and running uphill is very painful.
Sound familiar? This is simply an example of the beginning of the frustrating cycle of injury. So, what is the cause, and, even more Importantly, how can it be broken?



What’s really going on?

As Tony has worked at a desk for the last 16 years, he doesn’t bear his weight much, and the muscles that surround and stabilise Tony’s hips are weak. This allows a lots of stress and impact to going through his knees and lateral stabilisers, which are struggling to cope with his new workload. When his left knee hurts, he subconsciously uses his right leg to drive forward placing an increased strain on the hip stabilisers and lower back on the other side. By primarily firing off the forefoot of his left foot, his achilles has now also become inflamed through overwork.
qsBecause the pain is initially not debilitating, and because Tony misses the sociable running, he is drawn not only into running, but running hard when people who he often beats are pulling away from him at training.
One thing leads to another and with the combination of rest and then frustrating return and subsequent injury, the cycle continues and Tony is unable to run regularly without stopping.



Mistakes and solutions


Mistake: Rest:
runWith few exceptions such as chronic fatigue, complete rest is rarely the solution for chronic injury. Resting from impact in this case is wise, but complete rest for more than a few days allows a process called atrophy to occur. This is where muscles effectively waste away from lack of tension, which renders the body more susceptible to injury.  Muscles protect and stabilise joints and weakness generally results in instability and collapse.
Solution: Prehab
Increasing strength around surrounding key joints stabilises the pelvis which then protect the knees and ankles. This does not only mean the legs! Even the muscles that hold your shoulder blades together are responsible for stabilising the shoulder girdle which decreases oscillation (bouncing movement) and rotation which increases stress on the knees and Achilles’ tendon. Pain is never acceptable, and even less so if it is increasing over time. Build stability through the sport specific muscular chains over a 12 week period (typically, and depending on severity), and then maintain this with regular strength maintenance. Often calasthenics (bodyweight based) programs are the most effective.


Mistake: Training approach:
Tony hasn’t adopted his return to training; he simply returns when the pain has subsided. Pain is a symptom; Just because there is no pain at rest does not mean the cause of the pain has been eradicated.
Solution: Listen and Build Incrementally
Although returning to running shouldn’t take very long, the duration (amount of time) and intensity (how hard training is) should be reduced and then slowly increased over time during the strengthening phase. By increasing the condition of joints and tendons (what we now call pre-hab) and then systematically building intensity and duration, the body is allowed time and space to adapt and stabilise.


Tonys example is a common one, and illustrates how a small injury in one area of the body can move its way up, or indeed down the body. If you heed the early warning signs and listen to your body, the cycle can often be avoided.
The further into the cycle one goes, the further there is to get out.Prepare your body for the demands that are to be put on it, and enjoy the rewards of a conditioned, healthy body!


If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!


 Justyn is a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with a special interest in Running and Cycling
Justyn – 07977199909

Why am I tired

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Why am I so tired?




I am asked this question almost every week, so, what is the cause, and how can we combat it for energised training and living?

If you are reading this, you are most likely someone who trains fairly regularly, and although training leaves you energised at times, sometimes the general leaning is a feeling of general fatigue and a lack of “fizz”
Fatigue is necessary if you are to make the most out of a training session, but unchecked and without planning, can lead to burnout and/or poor quality ‘survival’ training where your body lacks the necessary energy to train or perform at a high level.
Fatigue cannot be attributed to one single factor, but is caused by a number of contributing factors which require real objectivity.


Here are my top 3 ‘fatigue factors’ with tips to eliminate them;


1 – Rest:

Easily the most common is a lack of rest from training. Do you have a rest day, and if so, do you rest on it? Rest is absolutely necessary for the body to repair and replenish, which means that lots of training of the same intensity does not allow this, and fatigue accumulates.
Top tips: Follow the 10% rule (do not increase how many hours training you do by more than 10% each month). Take rest days when you need them, especially after a day of training hard, and remember that ‘recovery training sessions’ should be less than 25 minutes and of a very gentle nature.
Every fourth week should be a ‘rest week’ where either volume (number of hours trained) or intensity (how hard) is decreased for that week. These training principles are designed to real ease the pressure and stress on the body in increments, and are employed by international level athletes as standard during blocks of training.


2 – Nutrition:Orange

Another common cause of fatigue is a lack of good quality food and fluid, especially at key times. Remember, every time you train, you break down tissue and tire key energy systems (a process called catabolism). The building blocks for repair are contained in your diet, meaning that the more you train, the more requirement your body has for key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for repair (a process called anabolism)
Top tips: Plan your diet around your training. This doesn’t mean you have to re order all the main meals you have! Fuel up before key training sessions with adequate carbohydrate (required for sustained effort), and give your body sufficient simple sugars and protein post training in order that muscles can synthesise repair, and glycogen stores can be replenished. This will help you to bounce back faster, and ready the body for whatever task you ask of it next.


3 – Sleep:

Distinct from the rest we give our bodies from training, a lack of sleep (quality as well as quantity) is another key piece in the fatigue puzzle. Most of the bodies repairs are made at night when your metabolism is slowed, so a lack of sleep, or more specifically, a lack of good quality “deep” sleep will mean that you wake with an unrepaired body that lacks the energy to perform optimally, and certainly to train at a decent quality.
Top tips: Make a priority of the evening, and think of it as a ramp that leads down to sleep. Things that inhibit good quality sleep include alcohol, food and work within 90 minutes of sleep. By eliminating these, your body has less to do, and is in a better state to enter into the sleep cycle where you will find a great source of recovery and physical efficiency.


Keeping track of each element can be easier by being accountable to yourself or someone else, so having a plan is key!
By reviewing and making a habit of planning these elements with your friend, coach or trainer, your energy levels will begin to recover. You should even see your performance curve turn up!


Justyn Moore
Trainer and Nutritionist
Justyn – 07977199909

2016 Special

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Do you have a health or sporting challenge for 2016?

If so, give yourself or someone special the amazing gift of strength, fitness, and expanding horizons this Christmas with a Personal Performance Package to start the journey!


New Year Deal includes:

– 10 x Goal Orientated Personal Training Sessions (in a private gym)

– 2 x Personal Nutrition Session

– 2 x Fitness and Strength measures


All this for £350 


So, start the year strong! Please email me direct to book in!


Justyn Moore
Personal Trainer
JM Human Performance
M: 07977 199909

Jo Pavey 10k Training

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Jo Pavey 10k Training Session

stopwatch running trackJo Pavey’s extraordinary run in the European Championships 10000m has certainly made more than a few runners think again about what they can achieve.

In a recent issue of Runner’s World Jo detailed an ideal session for sharpening up before a 5k or 10k.

Unusually, it includes both interval and threshold training.

The session

  1. 3 x 800m with 2 min recoveries
  2. 3 mins rest
  3. 3 x 400m with 90 sec recoveries
  4. 5 mins rest
  5. 10 mins at tempo pace
  6. 5 mins rest
  7. 4 x 200m with 60 sec recoveries

The reps should be run at 5k pace or even slightly quicker.

We ran this session on the track yesterday, but altered it slightly — why?

Our runners have quite a wide range of abilities, and running to distance means that the slower runners have a comparatively harder session.
A 15-min 5k runner would be running their first 3 x 800 in just over 7 minutes. A 25 minute 5k runner would be taking 12 minutes; that’s quite a workload at 5k pace and our nearly exhausted runner is not even half-way through their session.

A more personalised application uses time rather than distance.

Here’s what we did.

Revised session

  1. 3 x 4 mins with 1 min recoveries
  2. 2 mins rest
  3. 3 x 2 mins with 1 min recoveries
  4. 2 mins rest
  5. 10 mins at tempo
  6. 3 mins rest
  7. 2 x 200m with 200 rolling recovery between

Why is this important? Well, it makes a session with a large group of mixed ability runners much easier to manage. Also, it is not disheartening for the slower runners because they don’t get the feeling that others are hanging around waiting for them to finish.

Running to time is especially important when running longer intervals, for instance 5 x 1k. This isn’t ideal for slower runners because the rep time can become disproportionately long; they cannot sustain the ideal interval pace for the 1k distance. So it’s more workable to run for time such as 5 x 5 mins. Pushing interval reps much beyond 5 mins means the rep becomes more like a mini-tempo session because the pace is slower; importantly, it’s altered the intended type of training.

In the example above, running 800m reps at 5k pace could be too demanding for some runners and the resulting fatigue could mean that the tempo part cannot be run at the most effective pace. The whole session falls apart and has a quite negative effect on the athlete — not what’s intended at all.

There’s also another practical benefit of running to time: we don’t need the track, so the session can be run out on the road.

What else contributed to Jo Pavey’s Euro Gold?

Jo’s lifestyle has changed somewhat in recent years; two children (one just ten months old) has meant that life revolves around her family rather than her running. She says she is much more relaxed about her running now. Yes she’s busier — much — but her training has become much less regimented. e.g. her morning session might actually be run in the afternoon (after the kids have been sorted out). Maybe this results in more focused session or a more laid back approach, whatever, it seems to work for Jo and becoming more flexible in your training could work for you too. She seems much happier too, and that is one factor that can have a massive effect on athletic performance.

Another factor that Jo values is getting enough sleep; vital for all of us but even more so for anyone with a demanding training regime.

As far as the actual the actual schedule is concerned. Not surprisingly Jo suggests that endurance runners should include the four staples: interval training, long run, threshold run and recovery runs.

Jo Pavey seems to be a perfect example of older doesn’t have to mean slower; older = wiser = faster.


Jo Pavey 10k Training Session by RTP

The Art of Avoiding Injury

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Injury can frustrate, impede progress, and take the joy out of your sport.

Events such as collision, poor surfaces, and pre-existing medical conditions that cannot necessarily be predicted mean that not all injuries are preventable. However, the majority of injuries occur as a result of overtraining, poor technique/biomechanics, areas of weakness or a combination of these.
Injured leg

Here are four top interventions to help avoid injury;


 1 – Avoid Overtraining

Overtraining occurs when the body is not given adequate time to recover from previous efforts. Believe it or not, hard training can take more than just a day or two to recover from. ‘Supercompensation’ is the process by which your body recovers from training, adapting and becoming stronger. Generally speaking, the longer or harder you train, the more time your body needs to recover effectively. Effective training should oscillate between phases of high and low intensity. Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean rest, as light training can be used as such. Following a hard training day with another hard effort will lead you closer to accumulated fatigue, burnout and an increased risk of injury. So, if your body is aching, back off and enjoy the benefits of low stress exercise.



 2 – Have an off season:

Taking time off from sport can be productive in more than one way. Having even just a few weeks off from a set regime can help to invigorate the love for your chosen sport as well as giving the body an opportunity to recuperate from the strain that has been placed upon it. For those who train lightly once or twice a week, this is less important, but for those who are training towards specific goals, times, and events more than three or four times a week, this is vital. Fatigue is not something that can be slept off overnight; reap the benefits of taking it easy and then starting again with a clear plan of attack.



 3 – Strengthen and Condition your body

Using the winter to prepare your body for the rigours of the forthcoming season with strength work can be very effective in protecting your muscles, joints and tendons. Anyone who has been injured and undergone rehab will know that there are a number ofexercises prescribed by health professionals for recovery, each designed to strengthen the area surrounding the site in order to minimise the risk of recurrence. By using movement patterns specific to your sport, you will condition the muscles that surround joints. This ‘prehab’ is an approach where areas of
woman-calf-musclesweakness are eliminated, reducing risk of injury. If we are going to ask so much from a particular area of the body, it is necessary to prepare it first.



 4 – Listen to your body

Your body is intricately designed, and has a very effective way of telling you something is wrong, and put simply, is pain. The ‘pain’ associated with glory, or the muscular burning associated with a hard workout is not what we are addressing here, but targeted discomfort in a particular area of the body. In the early stages, these are often referred to as niggles and can be frequent if you don’t back off and develop into an injury. This requires management but cross-training can be a very effective intervention. By using another mode of exercise that gives very similar benefits while relieving strain in the particular area of discomfort can be highly effective in providing reduced impact while maintaining strength and fitness. Injuries often occur as a result of using a joint too much in the same plane or position. Keeping your program varied and interesting can help in avoiding this scenario.


Justyn Moore
Trainer and Nutritionist
Justyn – 07977199909

Running Performance Masterclass

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Calling all runners!


Running Performance master class on the evening of Monday 17th November


You will learn:
  • Training techniques for high performance
  • Using time effectively
  • Physical Conditioning and injury prevention
  • Testing and measuring progress.
running-legsClass size is limited to 10, first come, first serve.
Time 7-9pm Monday 17th November
Place: Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke
Cost: £45

Book through Facebook PM HERE or email


Lactate Training for running performance

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According to Farrell, Wilmore, Coyle, Billing, and Costill, Lactate threshold is the best physiological predictor of distance running performance. We know it’s important,…however, what is it?..and how do improve it?


What is lactate threshold?

Have you been running and felt like if you go any faster, you will not be able to sustain it? If so, you have been very close to your lactate threshold! It is the point at which your ability to remove lactic acid from your working muscles is equal to how much lactic is entering the muscles. This cycle of lactic pooling (entering) and then acidosis (removal) is often called your lactic buffering capacity and is the primary ‘ceiling’ for your performance.
Thus, if we can increase our muscles buffering efficiency, we can run faster at the same level of effort whether running a 5k or an elite level marathon.


Training – How do we Raise the Bar?

Lactate training can be done in more than one way, here are 2 effective examples
  • Lactate reps: Perform 1-3 minutes of effort, followed by approximately 2 minutes rest. The efforts must be above race pace and should be sufficient to ‘burn’ and be outside of your comfort zone. Efforts above normal racing speeds overload the lactate system and generate ‘super compensation’ which is where the system becomes more efficient as a result of its being stretched.
  • Lactate Tempo run: (60 min example) 20 minutes at steady pace (65% of HR max), then building to a 20 minute ‘race pace’ effort (around 85% of HR max), followed by a further 20 min at steady pace (65% of HR max) This ‘training sandwich’ exposes your body to lactate threshold conditions and gently increases your threshold over time.
In my experience as a runner and trainer, these simple sessions can make a big difference to running performance.
Happy running!


Justyn Moore
Trainer and Nutritionist


Bike Power Masterclass

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Calling Cyclists and triathletes!

Bike power master class on the evening of the first Monday of October.

You will learn:

  • Theory of power
  • Training to improve cycling performance
  • Testing and measuring progress.

banner_bikeClass size is limited to 8, first come, first serve.
Time 7-9 Monday 6th October
Place: Basingstoke venue tbc
Cost: £45

Book through facebook or email

How important is sleep when I train?

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How many hours do I need, and what time should I get to bed? These are both frequently asked questions, and if you are training hard, is a very good question!


Research has not yielded any hard and fast rules as differences in age, stress levels, activity levels, and genetics make it personal to you.
HOWEVER, here are 5 things that will help you decide how much and when;


  • Sleeper PicRecovery: During sleep, the majority of protein synthesis (muscle repair) occurs.So if you are training hard, you will need plenty of sleep to recover effectively for the next session
  • Time: Earlier is better – Studies reveal that hours of sleep before midnight are significantly better for renewal of cells and sleep quality is higher
  • Depth: Studies on circadian (natural day) rhythms reveal that not just time but depth of sleep key to brain and physical renewal. Alcohol, caffeine and backlit devices (computers/mobiles etc) before bed can all significantly affect the depth of sleep and it’s effectiveness in providing energy renewal.
  • Memory: Research also reveals that we commit much to memory during sleep. So, if you want your brain to perform optimally, get your head down!
  • Power napping!? A contentious issue; many disagree, but one thing that is not so contentious is that power naps are effective for physical stress relief. As a rule of thumb, 20 mins is enough: much more and your longer night-time sleep can be impaired!
Justyn Moore – Trainer/Nutritionist


Hydration for endurance sport

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Too much fluid or ‘hyperhydration’ while working at higher intensities have been shown to increase gastrointestinal discomfort. The benefits of taking large amounts of fluid mid effort are easily outweighed by the performance gains of a steady absorption rate! Recent research suggests little and often is an effective approach so sipping small amounts over time looks like a winner for your performance needs.

Want to know more? Get in touch