Q&A with Francesco, after completing the 2016 London Marathon

True Motion's Principal Physiotherapist and Osteopath, Francesco Contiero recently competed in his first ever marathon for charity. He completed the London Marathon on Sunday in under four hours and has been raising funds for Cancer Research UK - you can still donate here.

Congratulations Francesco, how do you feel and what was the best part?

I feel great! It was an unbelievable experience. The best part? The crowd was AMAZING. I mean, it was 42km of cheering and clapping! At the 20th mile I suddenly had to pull on the side due to a hamstring cramp, which luckily resolved itself in just a few seconds. The crowd standing on the sides kept supporting me and gave me the right motivation to start running again. It felt amazing. Painful, yes, but amazing!

What was your training regime like with your busy work schedule?

Since January, I trained using a schedule; I alternated long runs (usually early mornings), interval training and recovery jogs with weight training. Like many other runners, I experienced some soreness on the way. Back in February, I developed tendinitis on the side of my knee (inflammation to a tendon), and had to take some time off from training and self prescribe rehabilitation exercises. With the help of some colleagues for bodywork and training I was able to pull out of it. Such a relief to finish the 26.2 miles without any injury pain.

Early morning run

Early morning run

What did you do straight after, cold beer or hot coffee?

As all the Londoners have noticed, it was pretty cold on Sunday. So I have to say hot coffee straight after, but of course a nice beer in the evening!

What are your post marathon tips to prevent injury?

Generally speaking, after a run like this, a few days of soreness is perfectly normal. Best practice will be gentle walking and rest from strenuous exercise for a couple of days, as well as drinking lots of fluids. If during the race you picked up an injury then again rest and gentle stretches for a few days will be able to help in most cases, if this is not the case then do see a professional. It is likely that a few osteopathy or physiotherapy session can resolve it, without the need for further investigation. Furthermore, seeking a therapist’s advice will help you understand why it happened, tailoring not only the rehabilitation, but also the training for the next event.

How can people keep up the momentum after a marathon?

I believe setting short term goals are the best way to do this. I personally try to have a goal in mind for every 4/6 months. This gives me the time to train as I’d like, allowing me to adapt this to London's busy lifestyle. I am going to try to do another marathon next year, so why not starting training now? Well, maybe next week...

True Motion would be delighted to help you with any post-event pain or injuries, and we can also prepare you for your next marathon or sporting event. We are the perfect team of highly qualified Physiotherapists and Osteopaths, each with our mix of skills and specialties including sports medicine, acupuncture, rehabilitation and management of chronic conditions. We also have a running clinic - where we observe, assess and put together a bespoke treatment and training plan. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter to stay tuned for regular offers, tips, and more.