How to get the most out of your running – A case study on myself – Jackson McKellar Physiotherapist

How to get the most out of your running – A case study on myself – Jackson McKellar Physiotherapist


Halfway through this year I recognised that we work with A LOT of runners at our clinic, and to be honest I found them to be some of the most honest, driven and dedicated patients I’ve worked with. After speaking to a few within our sessions I decided to give it a go for myself, and see what makes it so enjoyable.

Now before I give you an insight into my journey and what’s worked for me from not only a performance, but personal point of view, I think it’s imperative to give you some insight into where I started.

  • I hadn’t ran consistently in over three years since giving up sport in Queensland

  • I tried getting back into running in January with no plan – I hit a wall three weeks in

  • I weighed 15kg heavier than I did when I left sport, and 8kg heavier than what I do now…

  • I couldn’t run for more than 2 minutes without stopping

So… What’s worked for me?


  1. Set a realistic goal and be in it for the long haul

It goes without saying that setting a goal drives motivation and helps hold us accountable. Speaking to our runners who come through the clinic I’ve found that they’re most determined when they have a race coming up or a goal that they’re striving for. Having a goal also allows you to to plan for your training (more to come on this soon). When we run just for the sake of it, we don’t really get the most out of it, which often leads to us plateauing out, burning out and not enjoying it as much! My goal was 5km in 26 minutes and 30seconds after twelve weeks, which for your interest, I achieved!


  1. Ask questions and INVEST in a coach or PERSONALISED training program

When I first started I probably annoyed a lot of people by asking questions about what works, and what doesn’t! But that doesn’t matter, because it helped me reach my goals! I also invested (purchased) a training plan. WHY? Because, science tells us when we invest in something (or SPEND MONEY on something) we’re more than likely to be committed to it!


Also, it goes without saying that a personalised program (investment!) will reduce your risk of injury and help you manage YOUR training load. As a physio I see plenty of client’s who want their results YESTERDAY. However, we know overtraining, training above our capacity or training HARD instead of SMART will increase the risk of injury, which will decrease our chances of achieving the goal we set at the start!


  1. Continue with your STRENGTH work, OR START YOUR STRENGTH WORK!

When I first started my running plan I was in the gym four to five times a week, which had to change slightly to allow for my new training program of running three times a week (purely from a time point of view!) However, the one thing I made sure was that I kept at least two of these strength sessions (three on a good week!) to compliment my running program.


If you’re wondering why strength training is important for runners click here to go back through our archive of blogs on the topic! We’ve written an abundance of them because it’s one of the main reasons why runners present to our clinic! They’re muscle strength doesn’t match the load they’re wanting to put through their body!


  1. Get around runners and treat yourself!

Getting around runners whether it’s by joining a running group, DOWNLOADING STRAVA or following runners on social media will boost your motivation and help hold you accountable. Remember, although there’s some fantastic recreational (and professional) runners out there, they all started somewhere! Don’t be deterred or intimidated by them running 14km at a pace of 4 minutes 30 seconds, use that to help keep you focused and motivated!


The body also works on the reward system – work hard, reward yourself. The same definitely goes with running! Reward yourself by purchasing a new piece of equipment (i.e a hat, watch, shoes etc) when you achieve a goal. This will help keep you motivated!


  1. Listen to your body, and recognise when something might be going pear shaped!

The pain behavior rules are pretty simple to follow!

  1. Worsening pain within a run isn’t good! You don’t need to give it 30 minutes to figure it out either! If pain comes on and worsens, STOP

  2. Low level pain that settles in less than 12hours is fine and often not a problem. If it lingers into 24 hours + post then then something will need to changed or looked at. It’s normal to have some low level aches and pains when exercising due to the stress you’re putting on your body however these symptoms should settle but if they don’t in, get in touch!


So what now?


Well, if you still have questions about running get click here to get in contact with us. We have experience in strength and conditioning, and work with runners every day! You don’t have to be in pain to contact us either! We can help take your running to the next level by helping you with your running plan and STRENGTH program! If you are in pain, click here to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists and get the help you deserve today!




If you would like our help to keep active & happy, give us a call