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This blog is my professional view and opinions on anything related to massage and fitness. This may range from new therapies, training modes, interesting aspects of massage or fitness, to food, recovery and other aspects to remain in good overall health.


By Lee Weston, Mar 1 2018 02:44PM

With the running calendar for the year getting closer and closer as spring is around the corner this is a brief blog regarding the most common running injuries and how to combat them. Up to 79% of runners will get injured in any given year (1), so making sure you know what the main ones are and how to prevent them it key to sustaining your fitness and reaching your running goals.

The most prevalent injuries unsurprisingly occur within the lower body injuries, however upper body injuries do occur as a result of falls or load carrying (backpacks etc).

The Most Common Injuries Resulting from Running:

1. Patellofemoral Pain (knee pain)

2. Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome

3. Tibial stress Fractures/ syndromes

4. Plantar fasciitis

5. Achilles tendonitis (2)

Of these I have experienced them all apart from No. 3, thank fully, at some point in time and prevention is much easier, cheaper and less frustrating than trying to get over some of these injuries whilst continuing to train.

The aetiology (causes) of running injuries are multifactorial but the main ones being overtraining, previous injury history, inappropriate /poorly fitting footwear as well as poor running mechanics. These are confounded if there are a combination of these risk factors and then perpetuated by an increase in weekly running mileage and history of previous injury as found in male runners specifically(3).

Among many anatomical differences in your running style / mechanics (gait and leg length differences and foot arch height) the biggest factor which impacts on lower body injuries, that we do have control over, is muscle strength imbalances in the lower limbs. This is the easiest preventative measure to make when planning your run training along with making sure you have the correct foot wear. Imbalances place greater strains on particular areas of the body finally leading to injury. E.g. if your gluteals are weak and inhibited then you can end up having ITB or knee injury as a result. With weak muscles fatigue sets in quicker and this is when injuries can occur as joint integrity is compromised.

Top Tips to Reduce Injury Risk:

1. Listen to your body- if you're feeling fatigued and supposed to be doing a tempo run then don't, reduce the intensity and take it slow. Or even cross train taking a low impact option instead like swimming or cycling.

2. Develop a specific training plan that from what you know about your own body and weaknesses as well as how you like to train. Everyone is different and an off the peg 10km training plan may not work best for you.

3. Get fitted with the correct shoes to suit your feet and running gait as well as the intended terrain you plan running on. Replace every 400-500 miles too.

4. Mobility and flexibility- make sure you cool down and stretch post runs, use the foam roller, attend yoga classes and also book in some regular sports massages. This will keep you supple and stop your muscles getting tight and fatiguing potentially leading to injury.

5. Strength training is key- make sure you address your weaknesses and stay balanced. Work on a good foundation of muscular endurance and then focus on strength training on your areas of weakness to stop early fatigue and compromised running mechanics.

6. Nutrition and hydration- stay hydrated and make sure you fuel yourself when training and running, both pre, during and after to gain the most from your training into race day.

From my own experience, which is backed up by research (4), the majority of running injuries are due to a sudden increase in mileage or excessive mileage. Again, it takes experience to know when to back off and take it easy so if you have the guidance of a trainer, or experienced runner then listen to them as they will save you a lengthy and painful injury & recovery process.

If you want any advice on how to structure your training for a race, how best to increase your distance/mileage or in a strength training program to improve your running, then please get in touch and we can discuss how I can help you.

Currently I am training myself for my 1st 100km Trail Ultra Marathon in June and chasing a PB in my road ½ and full marathon in April.


(1) Altman A, Davis IS. (2012) Barefoot running: biomechanics and implications for running injureis. Current Sports Medicine Reports 11(5):244-50.

(2) Taunton JE, Ryan MB, Clement DB, McKenzie DC, Lloyd-Smith DR, Zumbo BD. (2002) A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running injuries. British Journal of Sports Medicine 36(2): 95-101.

(3) van Gent RN, Siem D, van Middelkoop M, van Os AG, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, Koes BW. (2007) Incident and determinants of lower extremity running injuries in long distance runners: a systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine 41(8): 469-80.

(4) Jacob SJ, Benson BL. (1986) Injuries to runners: a study of entrants to a 10,000 metre race. The American Journal of Sports Medicine 14 (2): 151-5.

By Lee Weston, Feb 5 2017 09:30PM

What is Sports Massage?

Sports massage is a manual therapy to address issues with the muscles and tendons of the body. These may arise from injury, poor posture, completing exercise among many. It uses a range of techniques to manipulate the muscles to achieve the intended goal of the session. These techniques include hands on deep tissue massage, types of stretching, neuromuscular activation and soft tissue release.

How is it different from other forms of massage and physiotherapy?

Your normal holistic/ Swedish massage is based around light pressure with sweeping strokes towards the direction of the heart. This does have some effect on reducing muscle tension but it isn’t as effective as a sports/ deep tissue massage. Physiotherapy is more concerned about the diagnosis of an injury, treatment of the injury commonly using the same techniques as a sports massage therapist and then rehabilitation exercises.

What are the main benefits?

This is to increase mobility with the body, improve the functioning of the muscles, whether to activate and shorten the muscle or release the muscle so it can lengthen and to relieve pain or discomfort improving overall wellbeing.

Can it improve sports performance?

Through exercise and training muscles will shorten and/or potentially become unbalanced, so massage is a great way, along with stretching and foam rolling, to maintain a balanced efficient movement of the body and therefore increasing your performance.

Can it help me recover from injury or prevent injury?

It is a great way to help healing tissues in recovering quicker. Massage helps to break down bruising / haematomas and also helps scar tissue form in parallel with the existing muscle. After 48 hours of injury it may be safe to seek massage to help with recovery once a diagnosis has been gained.

Are there any contra-indications?

There are many contra indications however it is only the major ones which will stop treatments, many others will just modify the treatment so the goal of the session can still be achieved. If you are unsure of these then please always speak to your therapist prior to an appointment to advise you the best course of action.

How long does a treatment last and cost?

Treatments can last from 15 minutes in a pre or post event setting up to 60-90 minutes depending on the objectives of the session. But normally it is either 30 or 60 minutes. Again your therapist can best advise you the length of time to achieve the desired effect. A 30 minute treatment costs ~£25 and a 60 minute treatment costs ~£40. There are always offers for referral of new clients and also off peak times so it’s good to keep up to date with them via Lee Weston Massage and Fitness Facebook page or Twitter (@lwmassagefit)

How often should you have a treatment?

This is a really hard question to answer as it is very personal. If it is a injury and working with breaking down scar tissue it may be as much as twice a week in to gain the most benefit. However if you are looking at maintaining your supple, balanced musculature with no injuries it could be from weekly to every 4/6 weeks depending on how much training you are doing and also how well you manage your own recovery with foam rolling and stretching.

Does it hurt?

It doesn’t have to hurt to be beneficial and at the same time more pain doesn’t always mean more benefit either. It is in the control of the client and should work within the limits they are prepared to work. Again a good therapist should always be able to achieve the desired outcome via different technique’s to suit the client.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing ensuing you are wearing underwear. The therapist will leave the room for you to get read and advise you how you are to be under the towel. They will always protect your modesty with towels by only exposing the area they are working on and act in a professional manner

What training does a Sports Massage Therapist undertake?

There are a number of different qualifications you can undertake to be a massage therapist, different levels and formats of how the courses are run. I qualified in a yearlong part time holistic massage course to ground you in the underpinning techniques and practices of massage. Then it was a specific sports massage course running over 6 months with case studies and exams (written and practical) to qualify to treat clients. From there continual short courses of different techniques and new practices are taken to keep myself up to date and improving my treatments I offer my clients. This is a requirement in being a memeber of the FHT professional body and is required to keep my insurance valid.

What other experience do you have?

I spent 2 years working in the Alps working as a therapist in ski resorts, massaging the likes of Austin Heely and Will Greenwood among other very tired and fatigues skiers. I have worked within the Gloucester RFC medical team alongside other therapists in keeping the 1st team squad in top condition. Also I have worked at many endurance events offering pre and post event massage.

What attracted you to sports massage?

Years of being injured myself from rugby and the therapists managing to assist me in my recovery via manual therapy. I wanted to be able to help others in getting back to fitness and improving their overall health.

What are the most common problems your clients present with?

Bad posture, lack of stretching and muscular imbalances. Unfortunately this is a result of long sitting and driving positions due to our working and social culture with not enough time moving as we were intended to. Commonly tight neck and shoulder, hip flexors with back pain. More often than not contributed to tight pecs, hip flexors, quads and hamstrings.

If you would like to know more or book an appointment to see Lee for a sports massage then contact him on 07890632948 or [email protected]

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