So I think I’ve learnt over the last few weeks that I really don’t love long distance running! Haha!! although I have enjoyed incorporating more running into my busy schedule, finding the time to fit an hour and a half or so of just running has been a struggle; and then during the run I find myself getting restless and thinking about all the other things I could be doing.

After the big race this Sunday I still hope to keep up the running fitness I have developed though, and would like to be able to maintain the fitness to comfortably run 5km. Working in Healthcare we are faced daily with the grim realities of mortality and illness and I think this naturally instils in us the importance of maintaining our health and wellbeing. Our cardiovascular fitness is so essential for the overall health and running of our bodies so I know this is an important activity to make the effort to maintain.

Incorporating more running into my schedule during this training has definitely changed my way of thinking when it comes to transport. When practical I try and leave the car at home and run to my destination instead. This obviously requires a little more forward planning and preparation but the bonus is that I don’t need to contest with traffic or the hassle and stress of trying to find a car park, especially in the city and around the hospital!

I’m definitely feeling nervous about the race but I’m looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment as I cross the finish line! Good luck to all the other runners for the City to Surf!


This Blog has been sponsored by Healthy Families Christchurch,

Healthy Families NZ is a large scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health.
To find out more visit Healthy Families Christchurch Facebook page or  Healthy Families website.


The last couple of weeks brought some pretty warm days which made for some tough runs.

One of my training tactics has been getting a ride to work with my partner; making him drop me off on the way to his office. This means come the end of the day I’ve got no choice but to run home. My usual run home from work is between 5 and 6 kms. Over the last week we were house sitting for some friends in Halswell, so slightly further away. I searched the best route to get me home, which was an 11km run. Pretty good training for the city to surf, only a few km’s short! But holy moly it was so hot! I had my backpack with my work gear but I hadn’t fit my water bottle in… big mistake! I struggled my way through the middle part of the run but ended up stopping at a petrol station to buy a small bottle of water to save the day. The run took me around an hour and half, not too bad but I was definitely abit disappointed as I know I can run that sort of distance quicker.

If the weather’s rubbish or I can’t quite summons the motivation to go for a run then I’ve been making sure I do a decent run on the treadmill at the gym. A friend of mine, who is a great long distance runner, recommended increasing the incline on the treadmill so it more closely mimics the gradient of running outside on the pavement. Treadmill running is quite good for me to ensure I’m sticking to the same pace. My main problem running outside is that I start the run off all guns blazing and going too fast to keep the same pace for the whole run, meaning I slowly drop back to a slower speed. This next couple of weeks I want to work on starting out at a pace that I’ll be able to consistently hold. Hopefully this will help me get through the longer distances.

With the City to surf fast approaching it’s time to ramp up the training, incorporating longer sessions!

This Blog has been sponsored by Healthy Families Christchurch,

Healthy Families NZ is a large scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health.
To find out more visit Healthy Families Christchurch Facebook page or  Healthy Families website.



Sticking to my running schedule has been a little tricky over the past fortnight. Like many of you I’m sure the big fires on the Port Hills side tracked me a little, and even though I live a fair way away, there was even a small fire near where I like to run out east, so it really hit home and got me a little side tracked.

Since my last blog though I’ve received some advice, ‘that If I can get to around 11k before March the 19 I should be able to complete the full 14km as running with others and a little adrenaline can often help carry you further’, (and hopefully across the finish line!)

This week my goal is to hit 9km through the forest then keep building to get to 11 over the next fortnight. From there I’ll make a conscious effort to run on some harder surfaces to insure I’m ready come the City2Surf on March 19.

I guess the key is to fighting off distractions and as they say … onwards and upwards.


This Blog has been sponsored by Healthy Families Christchurch,

Healthy Families NZ is a large scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health.
To find out more visit Healthy Families Christchurch Facebook page or  Healthy Families website.



It can be difficult to tell if shoes are in need of replacement. This is particularly true if you cannot remember when the shoe was purchased or how frequently it has been run in.

Running shoes are the only protective element that the runner has between the foot and the ground. Replacing footwear regularly is important to avoid injury and ensure that you have maximal comfort on each run.

Outer-sole materials can be quite durable and not show much wear at all, when internally the semisolid foam becomes compressed. Nonetheless it’s a good place to start and review the outer-sole of the shoe and observe excessive wear. As per the image below, the outer-side of the heel and central portion of the forefoot will usually wear away first.


Place one hand inside the forefoot of the shoe and compress the foam with your other hand. You can often feel severe compression where the shoe has bottomed out or there may be subtle depressions in the foam that can be felt. If there is no bounce or volume of foam in this part of the shoe, shock absorption is most certainly compromised.

Another simple test is to review your shoes on a flat surface.  Looking from behind the shoe, how do they sit? Do they lean inwards or outwards or remain vertical? Ideally the heel counter of the shoe should remain vertical or perpendicular. Definitely discard your shoes if they don’t sit straight!


The simple twist test could also provide an insight as to the integrity of the mid-sole and support it is offering? If you can wring the shoe like a towel then its become pretty soft. Generally a decent running shoe should have some structural integrity and be resistant to the twist test.


There may be some signs on the upper that the shoe is on the way out. These are usually pretty obvious to see. The shoe designers tell us that the average running shoe should last around 1000km’s. Earlier research has highlighted that the shoe can lose as much as  30% of its cushioning after 800km with notable increases in foot pressures also attained. There is some controversy about the failure of the shoe and its contribution to injury as some research is conflicting with these early studies.

The humble running shoe is your friend. Look after them and rotate them frequently. They will add to the comfort of your run should give you a great ride on every outing. If they are not comfortable then there is a good chance that they could increase your injury risk. Now if the time to buy your shoes and break them in – you still have time. Don’t leave it too late. Purchasing a new pair the week before is high risk!

Take home messages

  • Review shoe wear and note any notable distortion. Note that your foot has made the shoe do this!
  • Handle the shoe, flex it and twist it – how does it feel?
  • How many km’s has it endured?
  • Are you a heavy runner or a lightweight? The lighter you are the longer the shoe will last.
  • Try a brand new shoe on your foot to gauge any differences between your shoes. Is it like night and day putting a new shoe on your foot?


Want to find out more, or book an appointment? visit the team at Sportsmed 


Tamara training at Hagley Park (photo credit: @theworldisacircus)

Tamara Milne – City2Surf running blog. 14km


I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on when it comes to running! But I’ve had my rubber arm twisted and been gently encouraged to train for the City to Surf. It’s amazing what a little encouragement from your mates can do, and now is as pretty good time as my workplace currently participating in the EDGE 100 day exercise challenge, plenty of encouragement and peer support to push me back on that exercise band wagon, the same one I seem to fall off every now and again but slowly find something to encourage me to climb back on.

I’ve run a half marathon before so I know that training and completing a race like this is achievable, it’s just that running is not a fitness favourite of mine. So I need to put in some serious feet to pavement hours in order to get myself fit enough to cross the finish line.

At the moment I’m back to struggling my way thru a 5km slog. I plan on running 3 or 4 times a week in the lead up to the City to Surf, but also I really want to keep up with the other forms of exercise that I really enjoy like circuit training, bootcamps and hill walking.

 I live on the hill so unless I drive to a particular track my run inevitably involves hills. Uphill is most definitely not a strength of mine… I end just bent over at ninety degrees trying to propel myself up rather ungracefully. I’m hoping though that the fact my training involves gradient changes it will help with my overall fitness for running on the flat… here’s hoping!

I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m relatively fit, but the biggest hurdle for me will be not making excuses! Sometimes shift work at the Hospital can hinder the best laid plans… a hectic evening shift or a horrendous night on call can mean I wake up the next day thinking I’m far too tired to go for a run,  even though I’ve never regretted it when I have gone and I in fact I usually feel a hundred times better if I do!

My challenge for the next couple of weeks is no excuses.. just get it done!


This Blog has been sponsored by Healthy Families Christchurch,
Healthy Families NZ is a large scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health.
To find out more visit Healthy Families Christchurch Facebook page or  Healthy Families website.



ruben                                              Ruben on a recent hiking trip to Lees Valley


*Blog entry* by Ruben Witteman



I am not the best runner, and until early this year I wasn’t really a runner at all. Over the years I would try to get “into” running, only to give it up again a month or so later when I got busy.

But with my colleges and I at the CDHB committing to a 100-day exercise challenge I decided this was my chance to give it a proper crack.

Like anything I started small. Making use of an app I discovered called Couch to 5k. It starts out by walking a bit, running some more and over roughly 8 weeks it gets you to running 5kms.

Already I’m running 7kms, and if I stay on task I’d be running about 13kms by March 19, just in time for the City2Surf. So when my boss heard this he suggested I might like to challenge myself and make the 14km City2 Surf a goal.

So for the next 6 weeks I’m going to have to kick my training up a little each week to be able to complete it. My training aim is to run 3-4 times a week. And to be running an extra kilometre by the end of each week. Which should mean I hit my target.

I have no idea if this is an achievable goal, however I figure its only about an extra 250-300 meters per run. If you have any tips, please send them my way!

I may have to make a few adjustments to where I run too, right now I’m running through a forest which is nice on my ankles and knees. However, I recently ran a 5km fun run on paved ground through Hagley Park and I definitely noticed the difference by the end of it. I hope suddenly switching from soft footing to paved ground won’t affect my training goal too much…. See you at the start line.


This Blog has been sponsored by Healthy Families Christchurch,
Healthy Families NZ is a large scale initiative that brings together community leadership in a united effort for better health.
To find out more visit Healthy Families Christchurch Facebook page or  Healthy Families website.


















Sick of losing your toenails on those long runs?


The heel lock lacing system has been around for a while. It is one of the best ways to prevent the toes getting beaten up and colliding with the front of the shoe. What the heel lock system does is to restrict forward movement of the foot as well as acting to support the rear-foot more. Its also a good remedy for those runners with blisters on the back of their heels as it prevents heel slippage.

Its very simple to do and once mastered its yet another tool in the runners injury prevention toolbox. You will need to experiment with the tension that is applied as it is often applied too tight to begin with and believe me – this lacing method doesn’t loosen off.

Check out the images below or look at the video clip on how the heel lock lacing system is applied.




Still have questions around injury prevention? visit the team at Sportsmed 



Hard to believe that something so small and innocuous can bring a runner to a complete standstill.

Blisters are still one of the most debilitating condition’s that a runner can develop and have been identified as the most common complaint of marathon runners. They are formed as a result of friction causing increased shear forces which in turn causes delaminating of the epidermal (skin) layers.  These separated “pockets” of skin can then fill with tissue fluid or blood making them extremely painful.

There are several common sites for blistering being on the back of the heels, ends of the toes and and under the balls of the feet. Sometimes low arched runners can develop blisters in their arches where they rub on the insole of the shoe.

These regions are usually the areas that will have the most potential for shear movement.  Footwear and hosiery therefore will have a significant role in both the development and the prevention of blisters.

Other factors however that will contribute to the formation of blisters include excessive heat and moisture with damp skin being far more susceptible to blistering.

So how do you prevent blisters from developing?

Start with your shoes! Make sure they are a good fit for your foot. When purchasing new athletic footwear make sure they are an adequate length. The thumbs width space at the end of your shoe is a reasonably accurate recommendation. Your first downhill run will tell you if your shoes are too small!

Many shoes are now offered in multiple widths so you can have a far more precise fitting option.  A shoe with a stiff mid-sole sole wont flex easily and there may be the potential for heel slippage until the shoe is broken in. Thankfully there are few running shoes that are stiff like this. There are some simple lacing options to reduce heel slippage with the “heel lock” lacing being the best to reduce heel slippage and it will also reduce forward movement of the foot in the shoe.

Suggestions for preventing blisters also include wearing moisture wicking socks, applying drying powder or other topical antiperspirants to condition the skin more. Socks are very high tech now so there are some excellent options in terms of double layer synthetic fabrics with moisture wicking properties. Cotton socks are generally a no go for longer runs as they absorb sweat and can easily wrinkle.

Going barefoot, salt water soaks, or applying surgical spirits to promoting the hardening of the skin can also be worth doing.

A hot spot is the first sign of a blister so using “Vaseline”, “Footglide” or “Hikers wool” can be a simple preventative strategy. Hikers wool is placed inside the sock over the painful area and reduces shear forces.  If the damage is done and a small blister has started then cushioning gel layers such as “Compeed”, “Spenco Second Skin” or “Band Aid Blister Cushions” can be applied before your next run.

Painful blisters can be drained quite simply with a sterile needle. When performing this stay near the blister edge and maintain the skin on top of the blister. This loose skin will keep it protected. Usually several needle holes are required to drain properly. Remember to use antiseptic and a sterile dressing to promote rapid healing.

Sportsmed Podiatry


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