• Goodbye injuries, Hello PB’s!

    Here is Kevin’s story, in his own words, on the importance of combined physio and S&C training and how it got him back to top performance.

    Kevin runningI first started running again just before my 30th birthday in 2012. I hadn’t really done any running since my school days where I was decent at cross country in particular.

    Following a debut parkrun of 22:39 in February 2012 I set about trying to break the 17 minute barrier before my 35th birthday in March 2016 (if you may be interested I kept a Blog called sub seventeen running dream).  Fast forward to Autumn 2016, and still not having achieved my goal, I hit a plateau with my running. I had improved significantly over the years and managed to get my 5k time down to 17:05 and agonisingly close to my initial target of sub 17.

    Critically I had suffered various niggles mainly in the lower right leg culminating in a right hip injury in September 2016.

    Sometimes in life you have to reach a point where you say to yourself “enough is enough”. I felt like I had two options. Unfortunately one of those was to stop “fighting” and give up competitive running altogether. The other was to sort out my injury issues once and for all. I was aware that I wasn’t spending enough time on my strength and conditioning (S&C) and I felt I needed support on that.

    I’m glad to say that I decided to seek out my options to overcome my injury issues.

    On searching the Internet I came across Newcastle Physiotherapy. I knew I needed a physio to get help on the hip injury first and foremost. As luck would have it, Newcastle Physio had a link up with SMART FITNESS. This was perfect as I could kill two birds with one stone.

    I immediately contacted SMART FITNESS for a consultation and was able to get in quickly to meet Teleri Hamilton.

    The first appointment was an assessment to help Teleri understand my background and my strengths and weaknesses. The great thing about the assessment was that it was geared towards my sport. Teleri is able to spot very quickly where potential muscle imbalances may be causing issues and address them through a tailored S&C programme. Critically she was also able to arrange a Physio appointment with Daniel Farnell.

    My personal experience was the tie up between Newcastle Physio and SMART FITNESS was the perfect approach to both repair the injury and start the process of strengthening my body to withstand better the demands of running. I was very quickly able to get back to jogging and push on with cross training at the same time. I also started a 1hr per week S&C programme with Teleri, Nathan Norris and Sam White. These are termed “semi private” but in reality it feels like you have your own fitness consultant for the sessions. The sessions are varied and focus on flexibility, mobility, core strength and power.

    To give a few examples – my hamstring flexibility has improved greatly, my core strength is immeasurably stronger and (a little embarrassingly) having been unable to do barely 1 body weight pull up I am now able to complete pull ups with extra weight!

    IMG_3713 IMG_3717By March/April 2017 my confidence in my running had returned and I entered a 5k scheduled for the 19th May. My obvious target was the sub 17 minute barrier but I also felt confident enough to ditch all running GPS data and just go out and race hard.

    I was delighted to not only break 17 minutes but also significantly smash my target with a 16:44 and a 12th place finish in a competitive field (6 runners sub 16 minutes).

    I am certain that the SMART FITNESS S&C programme played a pivotal role in my breakthrough as my run training load leading up to the race was still relatively low (30-40 miles per week). This gives me great confidence in my potential to improve further and I have already set myself a new dream goal of achieving an England Masters vest over the coming years. I will of course be counting on SMART FITNESS to support me towards this new goal.


    We absolutely look forward to supporting Kevin towards achieving his new goals. Keep up the good work.