This Month we catch up with David Coombs a Gold Coast physio and running coach. David specialises in treating running injuries and teaching running technique. He is also an athlete in his own right and has completed a few tough and challenging races such as 160k ultra runs and the 42k Spartan Ultra Beast (which he won in 2016).
What got in you into The Spartan Race and how long have you been training?
For me, my main training focus has always been in Endurance sports, so when my wife did a Spartan race about 5 years ago, I immediately thought it is something I could do well in. The races are basically a trail run, with challenging obstacles every few minutes.
What is your favourite event?
My favourite distance to run is 100k, and my favourite event would have to be the Alpine 100k in the Victorian Alps. This is a really tough run through some rugged mountain landscapes with breathtaking views over the high plains and mountains around Mt Bogong. A real treat.
What training do you do for Grip Strength?
For the Spartan Race I realised after my first attempt that one of the key things to include in training would be Grip. Many of the obstacles reward a strong grip such as rope climbs, log carries, rock climbing, monkey bars. I do a mixture of things like pull ups, deadlifts, dead hangs on edges etc and then combine these with using the Captains of Crush Grippers.
What Captains of Crush Gripper can you close and what one are you chasing?
I am not as strong as many so mostly do reps on the N0:1. I haven’t tried any of the heavier ones but it would be cool to be able to have a go on the 1.5 and 2.
How to you keep injuries away?
Personally I like to keep my training really varied. The bulk of my training is running, but I mix this in with upper and lower body strength training, yoga, mountain biking etc. It is important to be very active and to have a well rounded fitness rather than be too specific and then when I have an event to prepare for I will ramp up the specificity in the 6-8 weeks leading up to that event.
What tips can you give to reduce Elbow Pain, Tennis Elbow?
These injuries are ‘overuse’ injuries, meaning they generally build up over time, sneaking up on you. The most important things to address with these injuries are strength imbalances, flexibility deficits and above all, errors in training. Things like lifting technique or training too hard too soon are the real issues here and need to be sorted.
What is your favourite thing to cook on the BBQ?
A nice butterfly lamb always goes down well around here. Washed down with a couple of glasses of Shiraz!
If you were to give some advice to anyone looking to get into training for a big event like the Spartan Race what would you tell them ?
What is next for you? Any Big Events?
Two big events I’m excited about this year. The Kokoda Challenge, which is a 96k team event here on the Gold Coast and then the big one, the GSER100, a 170k run through the mountains in Victoria.
How can people contact you?
Thank you David for spending some time with us and giving some tips to our visitors. Best of luck to you David with your upcoming events!