Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category

Cherry juice and recovery

April 18, 2010

After dosing up on beetroot juice before a race to improve endurance, it now seems that distance runners benefit from drinking cherry juice to aid recovery.

One study by the University of Vermont  claims:

There was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the placebo juice. This fell by 22 percentage points in those drinking the placebo juice, but only by four percentage points in those drinking cherry juice. Muscle strength had slightly improved after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice. The degree of soreness differed little between the two groups, but the average pain score was significantly less in those drinking cherry juice. Average pain scores came in at 3.2 for those drinking the placebo juice and 2.4 for those drinking cherry juice. Pain also peaked at 24 hours for those drinking cherry juice, but continued to increase for those on the placebo juice for the subsequent 48 hours.

University of Vermont. “Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain.” (ScienceDaily23 June 2006. 18 April 2010 <;).

Another more recent experiment conducted by the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences at the Northumbria University confirms the beneficial effects of cherry juice:

In the investigation, 20 marathon runners drank either a tart cherry blend juice or a placebo drink twice a day for five days before taking part in the London Marathon and for two days afterwards.

The findings indicated that the group who drank the cherry juice recovered their strength more rapidly than the control group over the 48-hour period following the marathon. Inflammation was also reduced in the cherry juice group, as was oxidative stress, a potentially damaging response that can be caused by strenuous physical activity, particularly long distance endurance exercise.

Northumbria University. “Marathon Runners Should Pick Cherries for Speedy Recovery.”ScienceDaily 3 April 2010. 18 April 2010 <;.

The scientifically minded can find the abstract to the original article here.


Wolverhampton Marathon: All’s Well that Ends Well

September 7, 2009

The season’s started ! And started well too….

I was a little apprehensive because the last month before the race on Sunday 6 September was chaotic: a change of jobs, packing up the office, a series of little injuries. 

In the end, everything turned out well. 

This year the Wolverhampton Marathon was better organised with chip timing and an improved route. The weather conditions were pretty good too. I started off gently to test the limbs to see if they could stand it and in particular whether my achilles tendons were up to it. They were. So I pressed on at a comfortable pace and finished in 3 hours 55 minutes.

Perhaps I could have run faster, perhaps not. I simply did not want to because my goal for this season is to run three marathons in three months. Innocently I thought that was quite an ambitious goal but during the race I chatted to some really pleasant runners who are members of the 100 Marathon Club. They are really hard-core marathon runners ! Have a look at their website and you’ll see what I mean.

Cross training, strength training

April 21, 2009

Maria’s latest post, “Obstacles…(part 2)“, gives me the opportunity to write about cross training and strength training. 

For me, running is just a part, albeit a big part, of getting and staying fit. As much as I enjoy it, I feel I need a bit more. And I’m certainly not a qualified coach or anything like that but my own experience is that without some other form of exercise, I don’t improve at running and I get little injuries such as pains in the knees. 

Maria was able to sort out her aching knee by doing some leg presses in the gym. Those exercises do strengthen the legs and having strong legs helps prevent knee injuries. If you don’t have access to a gym and the requisite machines, you can achieve pretty much the same result by doing squats.

Here are a couple of videos showing how to do squats properly. There’s this one  and also this one. Both are quite clear and worth watching.

If you want some suggestions for a more complete physical fitness programme, have a look at which has a lot of videos of different exercises, all charmingly explained.


March 29, 2009

I had the suspicion from the beginning that Xavier would be the one writing about the joys of running on this blog and I would write about the trials. And this post comes to confirm this. So, today I’ll tell you about the problems that I had (and still have) to deal with since I started running.

Problem no 1: Black nails on my toes: Yes, it is disgusting indeed but the nails of my big toes are black since I started running longer distances. And the worse part was that they were very sore for a couple of days after the run. My running shoes were one size bigger than my normal shoe size but still I was told that they were two tight because the foot sets out when you run, and especially when you run more than 40 min it sets out even more. The whole thing became more serious for me when I was told that I’m risking to lose my nails. So, I went for a new pair of running shoes which are the same size as the old ones but they are a bit larger in the front. The nails are still black but I have not felt any soreness since.

To be continued with problem no 2

Posted by Maria