Stretch, Stretch and Stretch again!
First of all, just to re-cap on on the purpose of this whole event.... My husband and his mates have decided to create an event in order to raise money for one of our friend's daughters, 'Isla'. She had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and from just a year old has been treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital. 155K is significant because that is the amount of money the family needs to raise to be part of a unique medical trial in New York. The other issue is that due to the timing of the trial, the event has to be completed before the end of February.
So they have now officially started training. Sunday marked the first planned event to walk from Whistable to Canterbury, have a quick refreshment and then walk back. This was equivalent to 15 miles or 25 km as the first part of training. The other thing they wanted to achieve was to understand the average pace they could maintain. The weather was kind to them on Sunday so the times they were getting for an average pace may not realistically be what they would expect to achieve when they do it for real.
Ok, so onto the interesting bit for me then, I'll start with my husband. As someone who you'd expect me to know very well, I warned him to make sure he was doing the correct stretches before they started. This for me is very important and we often have this conversation. He however doesn't necessarily put the same emphasis on stretching as I would. A typical problem in today's world is the amount of time sitting sedentary at a desk, which causes contraction of the lower back and hamstrings and can even flow down and manifest itself as knee pain and calf issues. So attention to the hamstrings and calf muscles is very important.
Needless to say the emphasis on stretching may not have been adhered too, in-fact when pushed, I'm not sure any stretching was being done at all. It is a common misconception that when doing an activity such as walking, ensuring the muscles are warmed up and stretched throughout the activity is of less importance than when you would be doing a more vigorous exercise such as running. It is imperative that the muscles are stretched to prevent the build up of micro-trauma within the fibres that will build up during an endurance activity like this.
Another issue that arose throughout the training was a build up of discomfort in the front of the hips of some of the group. Often this is due to the contraction of the hip flexors that cross the front of the hip and are put under significant repetition in an event like this. This can also lead to pain in the lower back and can limit flexibility so stretching of the hip flexors is important to prevent discomfort.
At the centre of this event though is little Isla, who has been through so much in her young life. As a parent myself I know that you would give anything to improve the chances for your children and this cause is a great way of helping do just that. If Isla's story has touched you in any way, please show your support and donate to my husband's just giving page here. We are very grateful for any support.
You can follow me on Twitter @sarahclarkelife, or follow my post through my Facebook page @sarahclarke.life. I will be covering the whole event and I am sure I will have lots to write about over the next 3 weeks.
* I treat client confidentially very seriously, the cases above have given me expressed permission to talk about their symptoms in this article, names have only been changed for comedy effect.