DIARY: Medfit Spinal Rehab

Today saw me receive my first spinal rehabilitation session with Medfit and whilst it sounds very dramatic, it does have to be anything of the sort. While many of the new customers there have clinical problems, my problems are of the more luxurious nature: ensuring my core muscles are all above average strength across their full range of motion.

One of the attending physiotherapist, Anne-Marie, supervised the session around the specialised machines. In each machine my hip is immobilised so that I can focus only on using the core muscle targeted with no ability to cheat.

Anne-Marie used my customised swipe card to setup my personalised workout, which consisted of 2 sets of 20 repetitions on each machine. We started at a reasonably conservative load which will be increasing over the coming weeks. I found it very good and don’t feel sore at all (yet!).

The machine shows you a screen with a green curved bar showing your range of motion and your target zones in green (if you move outside your range of motion, the bar goes into red). The machines’ feedback helps you monitor both correct speed and range of your resistance movement and then rates your performance. Anne-Marie told me no one had gotten it over 98% yet, so competitive as always I did my best but could only match the 98% but at least this happened on four out of the eight chances I had.

After the session, she did some functional core work with me before leaving me in the hands of one of the resident strength and conditioning coaches, Brian Mullan, who interviewed me about what my exercise needs were and told me he’d sit down with John Murphy (my physio) and hammer out a program to suit my needs.

I have vowed since the end of last season to leave nothing to chance in 2011 and working with Medfit should help me take a huge step down that road. Early February then it’s time to see a physiologist for a lactate test. My goal is to establish an early marker in the middle of aerobic training to refer back to later in the season. If anything goes wrong, this baseline test can help provide clues to the exact causes and eliminate most guess-work. 

While I cannot avail of the benefits and ideal life-style of a professional in order to help me achieve my goals, I hope to balance this out somewhat by investing my resources directly into running on most fronts eschewing many traditional luxuries to balance it out. Sometimes I feel a hinge of guilt spending so much on running, but then I think to myself, that apart from food and books, what better investment than your own dream? This is my only life, and my only chance, there will never be another…

In the meantime, training continues apace and tomorrow I’ll talk about the second “faster” workout in the Lydiard aerobic phase – the fartlek