A consultant at Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital is offering advice to runners, including his fellow colleagues, who are preparing to compete in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival this October.

The 26 miles of picturesque Dorset coastline, which make up the Bournemouth full marathon, are an extreme test of a human’s physical abilities. Mr Charles Willis-Owen, an orthopaedic consultant who specialises in sports injuries, is stressing the importance of following a structured training programme.

Mr Willis-Owen says: “Many people in Dorset are currently in the midst of training programmes as they prepare to tackle the Bournemouth Marathon. The best way a runner can reduce the risk of injury, during and after the marathon, is by being adequately prepared.

“If you’ve done all the training you have got nothing to fear. If you are going into it underprepared then you are likely to run into trouble. Be honest with yourself if you are underprepared then take it slower by walking at times.”

The sports injury specialist explains it is best to get any niggling problems looked at early and not leave it to the last minute. Mr Willis-Owen adds: “If you experience any pain after training that continues into the next day, or are getting pain at the start of a training session, those are warning signs that your body needs more help to recover.”

Mr Willis-Owen offers his top tips for marathon training:
• Address any problems early on
• Get a gait assessment and make sure you are running in the appropriate footwear; don’t make the mistake of training in new shoes just before the big day, this often leads to stress fractures and other injuries
• Make sure you factor in enough recovery time while you are training to avoid over-training
• Relax after your big event

As a big supporter of keeping the people of Dorset fit and healthy, the private hospital is partnering with the award-winning Bournemouth Marathon Festival, which includes the full marathon, half marathon, supersonic 10k, supernova 5k and junior races. Ten members of staff at Nuffield Health Bournemouth will be joining in the fun and racing over the weekend, including Hospital Director David McNair.

Those interested in attending Mr Willis-Owen’s weekly clinic are invited to contact the Nuffield Health Bournemouth customer services team on 01202 375032.