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Amputee training advice from Adrian Howden

For over a decade, athlete Adrian Howden has been competing at sporting events globally. Securing new personal bests, record breaking achievements and helping to positively influence the world of para-sport.

The last few months have seen Adrian compete in two high profile events: the World Series Supersprint in Leeds and the European Duathlon Championships in Spain. In both events, Adrian performed exceptionally well, and secured a new personal best in Spain, beating a time that has been held for the last two years.

Running and related sports have always played a big part in Adrian’s life, helping to keep him fit and healthy. After the amputation of his leg in 2006, sport was key to his recovery. For many amputees sport not only has positive physical benefits but also mental benefits too, all of which can aid in helping fulfil goals and ambitions.

For new amputees or those that are wanting to try duathlons for the first time, Adrian advises joining a local tri, cycle or running club as many encourage para athletes and can help provide useful hints and tips on training. Having a close relationship with your prosthetist is also an important aspect of training. As in Adrian’s experience, getting the right prosthesis is difficult and in some cases, trial and error is the only way to determine the most suitable fit for you and your needs.

With technology developing quickly and running blades proving a popular choice for sports prostheses, Adrian advises that you may have to change your running style to adapt to different blades, and amend your training regime to incorporate more cycling and swimming to avoid running related injuries. Building up strength and endurance is a gradual process, so as to ensure that the residual limb does not blister. However, with the help and support from your prosthetist, you will begin to enjoy the freedom and rewards that running can provide.

For more advice on sports prostheses and training, please consult with your prosthetist.

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