Welcome to a 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 today with some words of wisdom from...
Name: Nick Markley Age: 36
Your Personal Sport / Fitness role: Running (road and trail)
How many years have you been involved with your sport and how many hours a week do you train?
Approximately 30 years......on and off......my first race was at 6 or 7 years old. I now train around 3 to 4 hours a week.
What is your main drive / motivation to succeed?
To maintain good health - both physical and mental......but also the personal challenge and the feeling it gives me whilst meeting that challenge.
What is your personal method of training?
A structure certainly helps me........with targeted and loosely planned training - the end goal being a race that I want to take part in and complete. I’ve taken up core strength training, in the form of Pilates, once a week....I do a fast tempo run (80-90% of race pace) at about 3 miles distance.....and a more hilly (and sometimes off-road) 4 miles at a mid-pace. A longer weekend run depending on the race that I’m training for. I also try and do some cross-training.......throwing in spinning and swimming here and there if I need a change from pounding the streets.
Diet is important to me too .....as is stretching and keeping myself as injury-free as possible. Massage is also very beneficial for me and it’s something I’ve used since I was in my early 20’s.
Are you part of a society, group, gym or organisation for your sport?
I’m currently re-joining a running club in Manchester that I used to run with....the Manchester Frontrunners. I think it really helps to be part of a group who can offer support and advice.......they are like-minded people who understand what you like to do and why you’re doing it. Its good to share what you enjoy doing with other people that enjoy doing the same thing. It can be inspiring.
What would you say is the best / worst part of your chosen sport and why?
Best part: that feeling of doing something you love to do. Worst part: injuries.
What is your most pleasing memory / success story to date?
There are many moments in my running history that I am proud of or that I look back on with fond memories. However, I think I would have to choose the very first Virgin London Marathon in 2010 (previously Flora). It’s still my best marathon to date, I ran it with my brother and sister-in-law, the atmosphere is just so emotional and incredible, I ran it to raise money for my chosen charity (The British Lung Foundation.......because of my Dad). Many of my loved ones were there to support me and I even ended up on the poster for the next 5 years!.
If someone was interested in getting involved in your sport, how would you recommend they do that?
I would definitely get involved with your local running club. They can be a great source of support and advice when starting out. Others will be in the same boat as you. Go for something like a ‘couch to 5km’ plan. This will be a structured plan that will start you off slowly (walking and jogging to begin with) and will ease you into it so you don’t fall at the first hurdle. Also - get the right footwear so do some research on that. Go to your local specialist running shop and invest in the right pair of trainers. They’ll do gait analysis and let you know your particular running style and what type of trainers to get. Finally - be determined. No one ever said that training for something was easy....but the achievement you feel after completing a challenge is just brilliant. You never know - you may end up loving it.
Are there any tips / pieces of good advice that you have picked up whilst studying your sport?
I’ve had a very long ‘running career’ thus far......and I’m lucky enough to still be doing it. But that’s not to say that I haven’t had my fair share of ups and downs along the way. One of the biggest things with running is avoiding injury and looking after yourself. I should know because I’ve picked up so many injuries in the past. You’ve only got one body so take good care of it. This means stretching and strengthening is paramount and, I believe, should be an integral part of your training/running life. Make sure you have a very good stretching routine.....and do the right stretches depending on what injuries you’re possibly more susceptible to (everyone’s bodies are different). My injury danger zones are my legs in general because I have weaker glutes than other people. I need to work at firing them up and to make sure I don’t put too much pressure on my legs. Easier said than done but I’m working at it. Also - consider massage as a maintenance and prevention procedure (rather than a cure.....although it’s good for that too). I’ve used sports massage.....and other forms of massage....as a running aid for many years.
How did you first hear about Chorlton Massage?
I had just moved back into a certain area of Manchester and I searched on the internet for local massage facilities.....and Chorlton Massage came up.
How often do you use massage as part of your training schedule?
When I’m not injured I try and use massage once a month as a maintenance technique. I’m not very supple (I’m trying to improve that) so I find massage is a very important part of training to help keep me injury free and feeling good. I certainly use it if I’m training for a big race (which is quite often). It needs to be part of my regime. It’s important to do things that you know benefit you - even you’re already feeling good. A lot of it is about taking preventative action.
What beneficial effects does massage have for you and how long do the effects of the massage remain after the session?
Massage has many beneficial effects for me - both short term and long term. These include: - feeling physically and mentally relaxed during the session and the hours/days following (possibly up to a day or two afterwards) - more energised following treatment (again - in the few days following) - tensions and possible niggles/aches will have been treated which means I’ll feel able to continue training without feeling tired or lethargic.......this is more of a long term thing mentally as that can have a knock on effect and make you feel more confident about your training and that injuries won’t occur. - and generally I find massage really good for my physical and mental well-being. It gives me a boost. Both for the few days following but also as an ongoing thing.
For what specific reasons do you use massage?
I use massage for both physical and mental reasons. It eases my aches and pains (because you do get them from running), it allows me to continue training as I want to, it helps me to be more relaxed and generally just boosts my overall well-being. If I want more targeted treatment because of a problem area then I use it specifically for that too. It just has so many benefits for me. I wouldn’t be without it.
How likely are you to recommend Chorlton Massage to a friend or sporting associate?
I’d certainly recommend Chortlon Massage to anyone that is in need of it......or would like to try massage. Not only from a sporting point of view but also from a relaxation and well-being stance. I’m both confident and comfortable using Chortlon Massage for my needs as a runner. I would fully recommend.
Many thanks Nick for sharing your thoughts with the Chorlton Massage community. Good luck with your upcoming events and in achieving your own personal aims and 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
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I look forward to working with you soon , thanks Craig