UP and RUNNING, Dubai

When taking up running, or any kind of exercise, there is always an associated risk of injuring yourself. Now that I’ve taken my first steps towards getting into a running routine, to slowly but surely prepare myself for the madness that is the Berlin Marathon, I have concerns about the old injuries I remember experiencing during my training for the Bristol Half Marathon back in 2009. I remember terrible chin splints, and especially, a previously torn ligament getting inflamed and sore when I train too much.

With this in mind, I didn’t only look for a coach who could provide me with a safe training routine, which is now being provided to me by Full Potential, but also for a physio who could assess the source of these aches and pains I had experienced in the past.

UP and RUNNING offers integrated sports medicine in Dubai. They don’t only treat you, but they also train and teach you so you can improve your performance and reduce your risk of further injury. They were recommended to me by a friend, and I took her advice and made an appointment with their physio Lee Watkins for a Run Clinic. Their experience comes at a price, and I was somewhat dubious if this would be a waste of time and money, but after attending the running clinic I am certain that it was a very worthwhile investment that I would highly recommend.

Lee questioned my goals for exercising, my current training regime and what complaints or past injuries I had. He ran through my training plan with me and then started looking at my stance, musculoskeletal alignment, and investigated my old injuries further. He taught me several exercises and massage techniques that should help me build up more strength in the weaker areas and relieve pain and tension in previously injured areas. I’ve been to other running clinics before in my life, but Lee was the first one to identify the potential underlying problem of my old ligament injury, and the first one to suggest options for addressing and ultimately eliminating this silly old problem.

Next, we went to the gym and he filmed me running on a treadmill. Turns out, there’s a simple explanation for why I am not efficient and am experiencing problems such as chin splints. I don’t change my gait when I go from walking to running – I just ‘walk’ faster. In the videos it was clear to see how my technique was bad and exposing me to potential injuries. He showed me videos of more efficient and healthier running techniques and taught me some exercises that will help me work towards this. My next attempt already looked a lot better on video.

My homework was to slowly integrate these changes into my running technique. If I wanted further advice in the future I could always come back for another session, but Lee emphasised that everyone has their own running style and changing it too drastically and too fast would have adverse effects. And, there was no uncomfortable sales pitch at the end, which I know from other physiotherapists I have visited in the past (“from now on you have to have a physio session twice a week for the rest of your life”). Only an offer of support if I ever needed further advice.

Overall, I was very pleased with the service provided by UP and RUNNING, and the session with Lee. He was very knowledgeable and focused on my needs, and not a preset ‘routine’ that came with the cost of the session. UP and RUNNING has two offices, and the one I visited was a beautiful and clean villa, and all staff created a very welcoming environment. Great service guys. Thank you all so much!

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