Welcome to a new regular feature ... the guest post. An interesting way to share information and knowledge among the online sporting community.
I've invited some of my clients to answer a few questions in the form of a Q&A post. They all have very different connections to sport and I look forward to reading and sharing their responses with you in the future.
We continue this feature with a dedicated Marathon Runner, James Moles.
Name: James Moles
Profession: Operations Manager
Your Personal Sport / Fitness role: I am an elite long distance runner, a CIRF trained running coach, as well as a visually impaired runner guide. I am also the Co-chair of Manchester Frontrunners in Manchester
How many years have you been involved with your sport and how many hours a week do you train ?
I have been involved with running since I was 15 years old, albeit with a break between 21 and 29. I got into running after a rugby accident at school prevented me from running again. I train 4 times per week, which includes speed work, long distance, and races of anything between 5K and ultra marathons. I also go to the gym twice a week to do core work and stretching.
What is your main drive / motivation to succeed?
I have 3 main drivers. The first is to stay fit and healthy - I put on 3 stone during my 20s, and am determined never to get like that again. That has been a focus together with a healthy diet. Secondly, to compete for myself. I have achieved some significant race times at all distances over the last decade, and don't see age as a barrier when continuing to compete at a high level. Thirdly, I love seeing others get into running, and want to support and help them. That can be from a physical health perspective, but equally important to support those looking towards running as a means to aid mental health issues, as well as meeting new friends.
What is your personal method of training?
My own personal training can be slightly hap hazard due to my busy work loads. Equally, I used to have a role moving about all day, I now have a sit down job. So varied training across tempo running, speed work, long runs, as well as cycling, swimming and gym work are all important. The key is a proper warm up, cool down and stretching to ensure the muscles are ready to work, and then to calm down again, and avoid injury.
Are you part of a society, group, gym or organisation for your sport?
I am a key member of Manchester Frontrunners, a friendly club for runners of all abilities. I helped to set up the clubs 10K cake race 3 years ago. I use Hough end gym in Manchester - it is a relaxed gym, typically used by a lot of other runners. It also has the use of a pool and health suite to relax.
What would you say is the best / worst part of your chosen sport and why?
The best part of my chosen sport is the great bond with all runners. We support one another, see each other at races, and give each other information and tips. Most importantly, we all love coffee and cake, which, of course, is a huge part of running : ) The worst part is simply getting over any injury - you have to stop, which no runner wants to do, but hugely important if you want to keep doing it.
What is your most pleasing memory / success story to date?
My best memory is the Paris Maratgon in 2015. I achieved a great time of 2 hours 41 minutes, but the race was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the crowd was great, and it finishes by the Arc de Triomphe.... perfect!
Are there any tips / pieces of good advice that you have picked up whilst studying your sport?
In terms of tips, the most important are warm up properly - never go out when your muscles are cold or you've only just woken up. They need time to come alive, and be ready to move as you want them to. Following on from that, is to stretch properly as well afterwards. Make sure you stretch out every muscle group, especially after a hard work out.
How did you first hear about Chorlton Massage?
I heard about Chorlton Massage through Facebook. I had been using another sports massage centre in the area, but needed alternative times. I use Chorlton massage, because it isn't just for sports therapy, it can also provide more of an all over Swedish massage, but can provide sports therapy too, if required.
How often do you use massage as part of your training schedule?
I tend to have a sports massage, or therapy once a month. I use massage for 2 key reasons - the first was I got injured in April 2016. I needed major treatment, and don't believe I will ever be completely free of the injury. I use massage to ensure that my glutes and hamstrings have the treatment they need to avoid further major injury. I also use Chorlton Massage as a way of relaxing the whole body. I do hold a lot of stress in my upper back and shoulders, and so this is a key way to relax those areas. This is especially important when I'm racing, so I have full movement for my arm drive whilst running.
What beneficial effects does massage have for you ?
The majority of runners use a massage or therapy service when they become injured, and only then. I see huge benefit in using massage more frequently to assist my overall performance, and to prevent injury, rather than just to book a treatment only when I am injured. I also see it as a treat to relax me after a hard period at work.. I'd fully recommend frequent massage for anyone who takes their sport seriously.
How likely are you to recommend Chorlton Massage to a friend or sporting associate?
Very likely... in fact I already have done !
Many thanks James for sharing your thoughts with the Chorlton Massage community and good luck with your future marathons, training and in achieving your personal goals.
If you are interested in booking a treatment massage for yourself, then prices are : -
£25 for 30 mins (perfect for small areas i.e. neck, shoulders & back, or just legs)
£35 for 45 mins ( we can do a full-body massage in this time)
£40 for 60 mins (a regular and most popular session for a full body deep-tissue through to relaxation treatment )
I am open for treatments most weekdays 10 am until 7pm, weekends 10am until 5pm. Please try, when possible, to book in advance of the time you are looking to make your appointment for. That way I will have more chance of being able to help you when you are available.
Massage shouldn't simply be considered for times of injury, think of it as a support mechanism to help maintain a healthier body and mind. This in turn allows you to better appreciate the sports you enjoy and through increased flexibility of muscles and fibres that regular massage offers, help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
To book a treatment :-
Please leave me some details (i.e. name, what you are looking for time and treatment wise, your availability etc) Please remember if you can't get through to me when you ring, I maybe working with a client but I will get back to you a.s.a.p. Thank you.
Ring / text 07926 790607
Contact me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/chorltonmassage
I look forward to working with you soon , thanks Craig