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Faces of Bodyneed - Meet Natalie Gallant

Written by Bodyneed Sports Clinic on June 27th, 2017.      0 comments

Nat Running coach

You lived and worked at the Falkland Islands before you came to NZ – what was that like?
Nat at Falkland Islands
The Falklands are rugged and raw yet utterly beautiful. I totally fell in love with the place. I learnt pretty quickly to just embrace the elements and get outside whatever the weather. Sometimes the wind would be so strong you could do an entire resistance training session on your doorstep! Taking a run to surf bay, walking with penguins and watching dolphins surf the waves had to be a highlight, the wildlife was incredible.The day I landed in the Falklands was the day of the referendum where the Islanders voted to stay most positively British, they are passionate people, they love their Island, they are talented and proud of their tiny home, 51°south.

My main base was Stanley, in King Edward Memorial Hospital, I'd also spend a morning at the primary school with children once a week and drive over to Mount Pleasant airbase twice a week where I'd treat the Military. The drive over was pretty epic, a dirt road, pot-holed with barbed wire land mine fields either side. You don't want to roll your Land Rover...

And with them you ended up as physio at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 – tell us more? What’s it like to be at a big event like that?

Glasgow CWG was amazing! I'd experienced working at a big event previously at the 2012 Olympics, however back then I was part of a larger medical team based providing first aid for the spectators. London Olympics was one of the BEST Nat London Olympicsexperiences of my LIFE. If you ever get the chance to volunteer, do it. Experiencing Bolt win gold and hearing the crowd erupt followed by the surreal 'Super Saturday' with Jess Ennis and Mo Farah running to victory to pull in a total of 6 GB golds in a day. I close my eyes and feel it happened yesterday.

Glasgow stepped things up in terms of responsibility and doing what I love - sports physio! The athletes village was a constant buzz of excitement, you do not want to hang out with other Athletes in the entertainment hub if your prepping for your event! The food hall too was an experience, with all the food that was freely available I would have become pretty fat if Team FI hadn't kept me so busy. The Falklands were competing in Badminton, Shooting and Lawn Green Bowls. I mainly kept the Badminton players in check releasing tight muscles but I did have to deal with a few major injuries...must have done a good job as I'll be back with them on the Gold Coast next year at the 2018 CWG :D

As a sports physio but also keen trail runner – what are your top tips to our readers on preventing and recovery from injury?

Top tip in preventing injury.. always consider the volume of running you are doing, or any kind of accumulative training for that matter, if you have a big week try easing off the next. General rule is stick to no more than a 10% increase each week to allow adaptation to occur and avoid overloading yourself.

Top tip #2, cant help myself, STRENGTHEN STRENGTHEN STRENGTHEN, its so important to compliment your running with strength based exercises to stay on top form and prevent injury.

In terms of recovery , a good nights sleep, no screen time in the few hours before bed!

What are some sneaky benefits you have as a trail runner, being a sports physio? 

Knowing when to back off and when to safely push hard, however saying that I'll let you in on a secret.. not too long after I Natalie Sports Physiograduated I decided it would be a great idea to run Edinburgh marathon with a friend who was living up there, neither of us had done anywhere near the correct amount of training plus I was just getting over ITB issues. Luckily we survived (through a gigantic hail storm in the last few miles) and I even made it back to work the next day, however I took a mental note...NEVER AGAIN without the correct training...I'm still in training... I would NOT recommend it!

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

I cycled London to Paris in a weekend - never has the taste of freshly baked warm pan-au-chocolate ever tasted so good than at 6am in a random french village bakery. I was so exhausted when I reached Paris I fell off my bike twice trying to unclip my cleats, not good when your entering L'Arc de Triomphe! ;)

For more photos from the Falkland Islands, the London Olympics and the Commonwealth games, check out our facebook page


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