All posts by Zoe McParlin

Training Diary 101

If you had asked me 6 months ago about having a Training diary I would have given you an odd look. Yes I had a record of my running thanks to my Nike app but that was about it. I didn’t purposely log anything nor had it ever occurred to me that I should be. However the first thing my coach asked for when I started training was for a training diary. I have been writing a training diary since about November and now I don’t know what I would do without one.

So here is what I have leant and why I have found a training diary useful:

Using your training diary for: progression and confidence:

The most useful thing I have found about keeping a training diary is seeing the progression that I have made. I don’t know anyone that trains for any sport or activity that doesn’t want to get better whether its running faster, lifting heavier, achieving that difficult move in yoga, everyone wants to see improvement. Keeping a training log or diary is the perfect way to do this; you can see how far you come.

It is also useful to look back on when you have had a tough session and really struggled. There maybe a perfectly good reason and actually it wasn’t half as bad as you think. It can be hard to gain perceptive and often you can be your worst enemy I know I am the first person to put myself down!! There are lot of different things that can affect training lack of sleep, overtraining, poor nutrition, weather conditions many of which may be out of your control so its important to note if that’s why you didn’t feel so good after your session.

You can take confidence from it when you’re feeling low. For many sports apart from some events that receive medals from completing, you can’t physically keep what you have accomplished; your diary will be the closest thing to proof your doing to get. Half of sport is mental having the mentality and confidence to keep going and get out the door is often the biggest battle. Also if you have a good session, figuring out why is important, what did you do different that day?

Using your training diary for: Training Analysis, What works for you?

“There is no knowledge that is not power. Life is a succession of lesions which must be lived to be understood”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The more information you have, the more you will be able to figure out what works for you and where you are going wrong or areas that you need to improve on. Everyone is different what works for some will be another persons idea of hell this is the same for all aspects of training. When you look back at the information you’ll be able to see what worked before and what you found most useful, then you can tweak your training plan to include of the different aspects that worked well previously. It works just as well for other aspects of your training for example nutrition, what did you eat before or after, how long did you wait before training, did you use a gel or electrolyte drink during your session, all theses things can affects your performance and recovery.

Using your training diary for: Set Backs

No ones training is going to be 100%, you will pick up niggles or have bad sessions its inevitable. Figuring out why you developed it in the first place can help you from doing it again. You won’t learn what works well until you have tried different things out. One of the most common risks or predisposing factors to injuries is overuse so it’s important to have a look and keep monitoring it so you don’t over do it. Many people find that they can deal with a certain mileage or certain amount of particular workouts but after that point the risk of injury or niggles goes up. Knowing how much is too much will help in injury prevention and overtraining. It’s important not just in terms of overuse but for when you have to train in different conditions.

Using your training diary for:Goals setting

Set yourself some goals make them specific to you. They can vary from little mini goals to bigger goals for the long term. If you identify what goals you have then you can use them to tailor your training towards them. Do you want to do a triathlon, lift a certain weight, run a particularly time, or just improve one aspect of your technique? The best way to make it happen is to take the time to think about the best way to achieve it. It will also help you in making and achieving goals that are more specific and realistic. Use the plan to create a gradual progression, you never want to increase your intensity or mileage by more than 5% at a time creating a plan will ensure that you increase it gradually.

Using your training diary for: Gaining structure

You wouldn’t set up a business or submit a proposal at work without a business plan or goal. So why should your training be any different. Also if you get into a particular routine then it will be easier to stick to it. Do you normally have a busy day at work on a Monday or have family or friend commitments/events on certain days, take this into account and have it as your rest day. You want to take as much time to plan your recovery, tapering and rest days as much as the workouts yourself. Recovery is vital so make sure you get the right balance it may take a while but listen to your body and tweak accordingly especially as your training progresses. Normally training plans are between 8-20 weeks this depends on your goals. My running plan is on a 12-week schedule. Do you train better at a particular time or day then use this to your advantage and make that apart of your plan.

Using your training diary for: Motivation

It can be difficult to keep up your motivation to build up to your ideal peak. If you keep a diary you can look back on it and think, look how far I have come or look at all the hard work I’ve done so far, don’t stop now!! You can also use it to make sure that you keep switching it up and changing your routine. You can also use it integrate workout or exercise you did ages ago that was really beneficial. Just doing the same training schedule can get repetitive and boring so having it written down will help keep the motivation up and well as ensuring a variety of sessions. I’m quite regimental if it’s written down and says that’s what workout I should be doing then I always get it done. A diary can bring focus to your workout, having your goals and the bigger picture written down can get you through a tough session.

SPI Belt Performance Series Review


Here is my review of the SPI belt performance series. I have to say I don’t normally use belts to run with and normally use my Adidas Arm band. Therefore when I was asked to review the SPI Belt (Small Personalised Item) performance series I was curious to see the difference in comfort with the belt. I have to mention that I was asked to review this product and while I was not paid for the review did receive the SPI Performance belt free of charge. However I am not biased in this review and have given my honest opinion of the product from my personal standpoint. This is the only compensation I have ever been given and haven’t been swayed into writing a positive review or trying to sell you any product. I have been for a run with belt on two 5km and one 12km runs.

The look of the SPI Belt:

SPI belt performance series
SPI belt performance series

I actually like the look of the belt and think it is quite attractive. I got it in blue, which just means that the belt is black in colour with a blue zip. Yes its simple but I have no problem with that at all I quite prefer it. Personally I wouldn’t really want an out there belt but that’s my personal opinion, you can get other styles in different series from their website including polka dot or more block colours. However one two of my runs while it did pretty much remain dry a few drops maybe I simply put the belt under my waterproof which obviously made no difference to what the belt looked like and you couldn’t even tell that I was wearing the belt.

It does fit everything I need when I go for a run snuggly and comfortable, its not too tight but compacted enough for the belt to remain small in size. The actual belt with nothing in it is relatively small which is great as it means it’s not bulgy at all if you only take some ID and your keys with you. The material of the belt is dry natural rubber, which I found beneficial as it meant the belt was lightweight but easily able to mould and stretch around the items I put in the belt. I have an Iphone 5C so my phone isn’t the biggest you can now get on the market but the pocket is big enough for larger phones including the iphone6plus and the Galaxy S, which is much bigger than my phone. Normally when I go for runs I tend not too take too much with me as normally I don’t have the option to carry anything with my armband, I can just about squeeze my front door key in. The option with the SPI belt is that you can take a lot more with you and its no issue at all, you could take some money, ID, all your keys with you if you wanted to and the belt would just mould around it. The fact that the belt mould around the item does mean it may look an odd shape dependant on what you put in it but that honestly doesn’t make any difference to be personally especially as I would rather it be more compact and lightweight rather than have lots of extra material. Also the material allows the belt to remain extremely lightweight.

The band and the buckle of the belt seem to be of good quality and the width of the band seems just about right. The band is not too wide but wide enough to get a good grip around you waist/ hip.

The belt also has 4 loops for gels, which seem more than adequate for any ultra distance runner and the gels fit in snuggly. The loops are positioned with 2 on each side of the pouch so it easier to access the gels when you are running and you wouldn’t have to faff around too much to get them out.

Comfort of the SPI Belt:

SPI Belt preference series comfort
SPI Belt preference series

So this is where I ran into some issues personally however in retrospect the belt did a lot better than it properly should. The belt does move around and bounce a little when I run not massively but enough to notice particularly in the first 1km. However certainly by about 2.5km I hardly noticed the movement of the belt. The more you tend to put in the belt it naturally does seem to make it bounce slightly more with the extra weight. To counteract the movement/bouncing you can wear the belt on the hips, which does seem to prevent to the point where I actually was relatively comfortable and forgot it was there. I found that the belt does ride up a little from the hips but its pretty good. I am also not used to wearing a belt which may come into account aswell in terms of getting used to it. Overall I am pretty impressed with the fit of the belt and it was actually a lot more comfortable than I had thought it would be.

The main point to take into account with my review in terms of fit is that I have a small waist and having checked the features of the belt it does say that it fits waists between 29” – 52”. I have a 24” waist so the fact that it doesn’t bounce massively and I am still able to use the belt with relative comfort says quite a lot about the fit of the belt. I have no doubt that on a person with a 29” waist that it was actually targeted for would be no problem with the bounce or movement of the belt at all.

However a 29” waist is the waist of someone that is equivalent to a UK size 12:US 8:euro:40 which does rule out a decent proportion of runners. I do hope in future that SPI bring out an updated version of the performance belt in a smaller size especially as the SPI original, SPI energy running belt with 6 gel loops, belts are designed for smaller waists from 24”-40”. Furthermore the SPI Diabetic belt is also designed for smaller waists from 25” – 50”. If you do have a smaller waist then performance belt while adequate may not be the best SPI product for you.

Practicality of the SPI Belt:

It is meant to be weather resistance but not water resistance and they do sell plastic inserts for your electronics on their website. I placed the belt under my waterproof jacket, as there was a slight drizzle on several of my runs and I had no problem. I also had no problem with sweat however it isn’t scorching weather at the moment in Wales its rather on the cool side so I wasn’t sweating buckets. However due to the position of the belt round my waist compared to an arm band it this respect I would give it a better rating in sweat protection than my usual arm belt. Personally I think that the belt would be fine for sweat and minor drizzle but wouldn’t stand up in heavier condition having said that even when running with my waterproof/windproof jacket I have still be soaked through my base layer and long sleeve top.


Overall I was impressed with the SPI performance belt, it was able to allow me to carry as much as I wanted on my runs with ease and comfort. It has been created for a simple job and it does well. I would recommend the belt to any runner as it is comfortable and doesn’t really move around. I would like to see SPI adapt the performance belt in the future to have the same size range as the original SPI belt opening up the belt to small waist sizes.

You can check out the SPI performance belt from their website on:

Features and Price of the SPI Belt:

Price: $25.99 or £22.99

  • A large weather resistant pocket and zipper
  • 4 gel loops
  • Able to fit iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy
  • SPIbelt doesn’t bounce
  • Compatible with 175ml water bottles.
  • The Perfect Spibelt for Runners and outdoor activities.
  • Available in black or with Coloured zippers.
  • One size fits waist 29″ – 52″



Ask the Osteopath: Runner’s Knee

As an Osteopath especially working in a sports clinic at a Running shop, I see runners come in with knee pain a lot. The most common cause of the knee pain is often Runner’s Knee or Patellofemoral pain.

What is Runner’s Knee?

Runners knee is also called Patellofemoral Pain and is the most common running injury and twice as common than any other running related injury. It is particularly common in runners under the age of 25 as well as in women, Beiser et al (2011). Unfortunately it is often a chronic condition with patients still reporting it 4 years later!Patellofemoral pain is also linked to an overuse injury and more common in marathon or ultra marathon runners, Nielson et al (2013).

What are the symptoms of Runner’s knee?

The pain is normally felt round the front of the knee either underneath or around the kneecap or Patella. The pain is normally when you are weight baring and is often from squatting, going up stairs and of course running. The kneecap is seen as a lever and helps in the movement of the patellofemoral joint, quadriceps and patella tendon, which are all attached to the kneecap, Dixit et al (2007).

What element contribute to getting Runner’s Knee?

There are several different elements that can contribute to developing runners knee these include the balance and strengths of your quadriceps, foot placement and running pattern.

Your quadriceps’ are a group of four muscles at the front of your thigh and the balance and strength of them individually is very important in their function. If one of the muscles say the one at the outside of your thigh is stronger it could cause you knee cap to be pull more towards the outside of your thigh rather than straight down when tense your quadriceps.

The effect of this can increase the pressure and decrease the amount of space in the knee as well as the force at which you foot strikes the ground. These can all contribute to why you experience the pain, Fulkerson & Shea (1990). Research by Cowan et al (2002) points to the outside quad actually starting to work before in the most inner quad muscle when you have this type of knee pain. Furthermore if your inner quad is weak you are more likely to dislocate or have an unstable kneecap, Sakai et al (2000).

You running pattern or gait could be predisposing you to this injury. For more information check out my blog post on the biomechanics of running. It is important to identify, if this is the case as you may need to see a podiatrist or Orthotist for orthotics to help correct this. If you say have flat feet or a low arch it can cause your knee to roll in when you take a step which can cause the outside muscle of your quads to have to work harder to bring the knee back into a neutral position. Furthermore it has also be shown in paper by Kulmala et al (2013) that by changing from landing on the ball of your feet than your heel can also reduce the pain by 15%. Similar studies and results have also been shown from have a smaller stride when you run both affecting the mechanical pull from the quadriceps that can contribute to the pain, Wilson et al (2015).

So I have Runner’s knee, What can I do to reduce the symptoms?

An exercise program is vital to the recovery of runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain. It may be necessary to reduce or stop the activities that are aggravating the pain including running and squat based exercises. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid doing exercise altogether depending on your situation it maybe possible to substitute with swimming or cycling through cross training as an alternative to keep your fitness up while you recovery from the injury. A majority of patients find ice being helpful in reducing symptoms and can be placed on the knee for 4 minutes wrapped up in a kitchen cloth.

An exercise program is vital to the recovery and rehabilitation of runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain. It may be necessary to reduce or stop the activities that are aggravating the pain including running and squat based exercises. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid doing exercise altogether depending on your situation it maybe possible to substitute with swimming or cycling as an alternative to keep your fitness up while you recovery from the injury. A majority of patients find ice being helpful in reducing symptoms and can be placed on the knee for 4 minutes wrapped up in a kitchen towel.

The exercises found in this document are generic for the typical patient with patella femoral pain and may not be suited to every patient’s circumstances.

Exercises for Runner’s knee:

Squat with medicine ball rotation

Squats with Rotation:

Place a ball or foam roller between your legs and as you drop down to a squat position rotation your knee over to the other side. This can be done to both sides or to one depending on your situation

Wall Squat

Wall Squat against a swiss ball:

Place the ball at the curve of your lower back with your hands outreached. Drop down so your knees are at right angles with your knees over your toes and hold for 10 seconds before returning to standing.

Single leg glue bridge

One leg hip lifts:

Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Slowly lift up your hips so it is in a diagonal plane with your knees. Once in this position lift up one leg straight into the air and hold for 7 seconds before returning to the floor.  You can repeat this 5 times and then switch to the other leg and do the same thing.

wobble board proprioception

Standing on one leg on a wobble board:

This exercise to work on your proprioception and balance of your ankle. It would be ideal to stand on a wobble board on one leg. However any uneven surface would be suitable you can start with a pillow and work your way up as you find it easier.

single leg Lunge

One leg lunge:

Start standing and move one leg forwards so your knee is over your toes then step forward and return to neutral. You can do this exercise 10 times on one leg before switching over to the other side.


Squats with changing angles:

Start with a normal squat with you feet pointed straight in front of you, then start to alter the angle of you feet each time so that you target slightly different parts of the quadriceps muscle. This will help to strengthen the imbalance between the individual quads.

You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

Post Half Marathon Advice: What to do after

Congratulations you’ve finished a half marathon. Hopefully you have had a great experience not just with the physical running side but also the atmosphere which makes these events so special. Your recovery starts as soon as you get across the finish line so here is some tips on what to do post half marathon to help avoid the aches and pains over the next few days.

Zero – Five minutes post half marathon:

Don’t Stop!

You may feel exhausted, aching and needing a lie down however the best thing to do is keep moving for at least 10-15 minutes after you finish. Listen to you body but get a cool down in and keep moving even, go for a light jog or a walk. Just try not to sit down straight away, walk to the food or charity tent. Start your post race stretching and put some layers on as your body will loose heat very quickly.

Zero – twenty minutes post half marathon:


It’s vital to replace the fluid that you would have lost throughout your run as quickly as possible to help your body recover. For a half marathon distance try electrolyte sports drink, juice, water or the beloved runners favourite chocolate milk. You want to drink enough liquid so that your urine returns to a pale yellow, if its darker you are still dehydrated. Water is great but as you would have lost salt and mineral throughout your run try a combination.


In the first half an hour after you finish you want to eat some small, with main component being carbohydrate with a small amount of protein and fat. Good examples are a banana, fruit either fresh or dried, Nuts, bagels/baps, cereal bar/flapjack, yogurt or chocolate.

2 hours post half marathon:

After you finish your run try to have your main meal; half of the meal should be made up of carbs preferably whole grains with an equal amount of protein. Ginger and honey have also been proven to help and reduce muscle soreness.

Thirty mins – one hour post half marathon:

Stretching and Sports Massage

It wont be the first time you’ve been told about the importance of stretching after a race but there’s a reason way. After you have done your own stretches end the to the sports massage tent and get a massage. The therapist will often be able to detect muscles that you may not have notice being tight as well as getting deeper into the muscles. They will also be able to help you with dynamic stretches, which have been proved to be more effective than static stretches.

The evening post half marathon:

By the evening you should have refuelled and start to relax. Whether your staying in a hotel or you were lucky enough to be local and are able to chill at home make sure you keep moving. Just go for a evening stroll nothing strenuous something simple like a 10 minute walk with the dog at a very leisurely pace will be more than good enough. The most important thing is you get a good night sleep cause lets face it you deserve it!!

Three – five days post half marathon:

Get another sports massage to help with any aches and pains that you may have developed post race. You can read for about the benefits of Sports Massage here.

Four days post half marathon: 

When should you start running again?
The general rule is between 4 days after go for a 2-mile light run just to keep your muscles moving. You want to reverse taper and start to slowly build up the mileage you are doing.

You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

For other articles on Half marathon’s check out what to in the week before and on raceday.

Half Marathon: Race Day Advice

It’s race day! You’ll probably be feeling a mix of emotions nerve, excitement, fear or all of the above and more rolled into one. Here are some tips to get you to the starting line of your half marathon feeling calm and relaxed.

Early Start:

Get up early and leave plenty of time for breakfast and to get to the start. The last thing you want to do is rush to the venue. Go through your race details of where to drop your kit off and where the starting pen is. Have one last look at the half marathon course details including water stations.

Do a last-minute check of your kit bag make sure you have your shoes, clothes, race number with safety pins attached, timing chip if not already attached to your shoes, water bottle and food. Make sure your kit bag has extra layers for after the race and some dry clothes encase it’s a wet race.

Two – Four hours before the half marathon:

Eat a breakfast you’ve had before don’t try anything new, you don’t want an upset stomach. Try to eat 2?4 hrs before the starting time and aim for 1000 calories. Eat a combination of simple carbs with some protein for example bread/bagels, cereal, nut butter, low-fat yogurt, or milk. If you can’t stomach food try a fruit based smoothie.

Two Hours – Thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Have a pre-event massage 2 hr ? 30 mins before the race. The massage should be light and up-tempo to aid the runner in getting their muscles warm and ready for the race. The theory is to increase the blood going to the muscles. It also has been suggested to improve focus and relax before the race. The practitioner can also help with some dynamic stretches. It should not be used instead of a good warm up and stretches but to complement it. If you want some more information about how sports massage can benefit you check out my blog post on Sport Massage.

Up to one hour before the half marathon:

Keep your fluid intake up and drink 500?700 ml up to the hour before and then no more than 200ml 30 mins before. While you need to make sure you’re properly hydrated before you start, you don’t want to over hydrate or have to stop and take a pit stop mid half marathon.

Thirty – forty-five minutes before the half marathon:

Have a good warm up and stretch. Never stretch cold muscles always go for a light 5-minute jog before hand. Do the same warm-up you are used to and get into your normal pre-race/run routine. For more tips on advice on warming up check out my  guide to the importance of warming up.

Up to thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Drink around 200ml this will be your last main fluid intake till the start of the race.

Twenty to thirty minutes before the half marathon:

Go to the start early, hand in your kit bag and have an old track suit or old foil blanket, to stay warm at the start but something you can just get rid off. Get to the pen 20-30 mins before the start so you know you don’t have to rush or add any extra anxiety.

Two minutes before the half marathon:

Leave it to the last few minutes to take your old kit off.
Most importantly enjoy the race!!
You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.
For other articles on Half marathons check out: What to do the week before, what to do after a half marathon

Half Marathon Advice: What to do in the week before the race

So you’ve signed up for a half marathon! Whether you have competed before or it’s your first half and taking on the challenge. Here are some of my tips of what to do in the week before the race:

1 week before the Race:

Use today as a full dress rehearsal, get up and have the same breakfast you plan to have on the day. This way you can test out everything and have some more confidence going into the race. Try to go for your run at the same time as you plan to do the race. Remember stay hydrated through the day and maintain through this week.

6 days before:

Either take today off or do a light cross training session. You could try the main meal your planning to have the night/lunch before your race. Make sure you get a good night sleep.

5 days before:

Do you last main training session before the race today and practice your routine including your diet, clothing. Try doing the run again at you’re planned  race pace.

4 days before:

Go for a fartlek or short high intensity interval work out to keep your legs moving and to get your heart racing. Fartlek means speed play in Swedish its just a term for interval training or run/walk training.

3 days before:

If you have a rest day planned for the day before and are not traveling aim for a light session no longer than 30 minutes. Start monitoring your fluid intake and make sure your staying hydrated. Make sure you get a good night sleep. Start to increase your carb percentage to 65?70%, but try to avoid beans and other food that may upset your stomach.

Get a good night sleep!!

3-5 days before

Get a sports massage preferably after an easy training session. Depending on how often you normally get a massage depends on how close you can leave it to the event. If you get them regularly you can have one closer to race day. You can find out more at the benefits of Sports Massage on my blog post.

Two days before:

If you have to travel to your race this would be the ideal day, go to pick your bib and other race day essentials including your food and drinks you may want on the day. Start increasing the percentage of carbs in your diet to around 70%. Avoid beans and other food that may cause bloating. If you’re not traveling to the race go for  a short walk or a light cross training session.

The day before:

Go for a very short run first thing to keep your legs moving no more than 20 mins! May attention to your diet with your main meals being breakfast and lunch to give your body enough to digest. Aim to eat easy to digest carbs like pasta with protein and not too much fibre or fat. Drink 2 glasses of water with dinner and then go for a short walk. Get everything laid out and packed for the morning so everything is ready. Set your alarm and try to get a good night sleep.
You can download this guide at: The A State of Health Clinic’s Website.

For more articles on Half Marathon running check out my race day and post half marathon guides.

Science behind Treadmill Running

Running on a treadmill may feel like your cheating especially when the weather is wet, cold, windy and generally miserable, however this is where you are wrong. If you are going to brave the elements check out my blog post on what to wear running in winter. The latest research has exposed the truth about some of the myths around treadmill running including the 1% rule and biomechanics that people assume make running on a treadmill easier.



There have been many papers into the biomechanics of treadmill running vs. outdoor running the most noticeable studies I have read are by Leeds Beckett University for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and Kerrigan et al for the National Institute of health.

Leeds: There was such minor changes in biomechanics of runners and racewalkers on a treadmill compared to outside that it could not be ruled out as normal variation between the subjects. The changes were was small increases in their stride length as well as decrease in the amount of strides that they took. However while negligble this is not necessary a bad thing as often many runners will train to purposely increase their stride length and decrease the number of strides.

Kerrigan et al: Also noted the biomechanics and therefore the use and strain of the muscles on the treadmill compared to the outdoor were almost exactly with minor differences put down to differences in terrains. On a treadmill you make brief contact with a moving belt rather than a stationary surface however reasearch shows the relative motion is the same and therefore the same biomechanics so the same stress on your body.

For information on the biomechanics of running in general check out my other blog post.

1% Rule

Most people will say that they set their treadmill onto a 1% incline to simulate the conditions that you would find outside but have you ever questioned why?

Andrew Jones investigated why:

The theory was that as you are running on a belt in a controlled enviroment there would be a reduction in air resistance and therefore if you increased the incline you would recreate the conditions. However Jones proven that unless you were running a mile in 7.09 mins or around 4.20 mins a km the influence of air resistance is not detectable. If you are in category of running under 7.09 mile firstly well done!! Secondly you will need to put your treadmill up to 1% to off set the resistance and those even luckier to be running even faster than you will need to put your treadmill incline up to 2 %.

What does all this mean for me?

• It’s easy to train and get used at an even pace that might not be possible outside with weather and terrain changes.
• You can get your runs in no matter what the weather and it wont affect your run
• It’s easy to monitor your technique
• You control the environment; got a race with hills yet there are no hills near where you live no problem you can replicate the course exactly.
• Returning from injury? Worried you’ll over do it and get carried away now you’re back a treadmill can prevent you overdoing it and if you need to stop you won’t be stuck halfway round your loop.

Original article from: A State of Health Blog 

Zoe McParlin

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Zoe McParlin, Cardiff Wales, UK
Zoe McParlin

About Me: I’m Zoe and I’m an osteopath, runner and chronic pain survivor.

I wanted to start this blog as a way to share information about different conditions, injuries and running tips that I see on a regular basis and provide information and advice to people that maybe suffering from it. I am an osteopath and see a wide range of musculoskeletal problems on a regular basis as well as treat in a sports clinic in a running shop. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with a relatively rare pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which turned my life upside down. I went from being our typical sporty teenager that loved running but did every sport at school to being on crutches, having 4 spinal blocks involving a drip into my spine. At my worst with CRPS I struggled to stay conscious and constantly felt like I was about to pass out. The biggest difference to overcoming it was education and the power to really understand what is going on with your body. That is what I am going to try and do with this blog.

I am now back to running the sport I always loved and now CRPS doesn’t stop me. I was given a 3 percent chance of ever having a normal life and I am convinced that education kick started me in the right direction. I hope to use my medical knowledge and experience from treating patient as well as the latest research to help other achieve what they never thought I could do too.

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