SPEAR:Run and some of your favourite running apps

4th Oct 2017

With the modernisation of running, there certainly are a lot of apps out there that can help with your training! An app not only helps monitor distance or pace but some of them can map your run, help with motivation, monitor load and over training, build up a network of running buddies or help you venture into the unknown. SPEAR:Run physiotherapist, James took to social media recently and asked the question “what running app do you use”.  Here’s a list of the top 10 and a few extras thrown in too! 

1. Strava       
This app is easily at the top of the list!  It’s like Facebook for runners, cyclists, paddle boarders…the list goes on.  A great feature of this app is that it keeps a total of your load week on week; you can even set a target distance to hit for the week.
Some other great features from Strava is the ability to monitor the shoe usage (knowing roughly how many miles each shoe has completed), a map view of your run and the segment feature.  Over the course of your run there will be segments that are timed and every time you run a route your segment will be compared to your previous runs on the same route; and to others who run the same route!  If you have the fastest time, you get a crown – total #runfasterinspo there.  Starve also links with most GPS watches, helps with monitoring your runs and also keeps an online diary of your achievements…add James if you wish (James Cruickshank). This gets a full thumbs up from the SPEAR team. 

2. Relive     
This one is a relatively new discovery from James, it links with your Strava account and gives you a fly by of your run over Google maps.  If you take pictures on your run it also embeds the pictures and where you took them onto the map… great if you trail run, run whilst abroad, do a lot of fancy runs…or just normal running! 

3. ViewRanger      
This app is great for trail running, it is based on the ordnance survey maps that are already out there.  You can buy segments of the map, which allow you to plot routes and plan adventures! There are alternative map apps, but this one has pre-loaded runs or hill walks with expected times and guided routes…. it also links well with Google maps and gives spoken directions if required.

4. iRunSmart      
In this app you can use it to predict performance in races based on previous race performances taking into account age, fatigue, etc.  The accuracy is reduced, similar to taking your 5km time and predicting your marathon time, I believe this has to relate to training ability, training phase and also previous running experience.  For those of you that have completed marathons, you will know that the last 6 miles feels like half way…  If anything though it does give a good indicator towards a goal time, which of course your training can be linked to! 

5. Running Hero’s      
With this app you can run your way to free gear or heavily discounted brand names.  Again, it links with your Strava account and the more you run the more awards / draw-entering occurs.  You can earn anything from 30% off Nike goods, to a complementary Avocado on toast, 40% off SIS gels, 20% off of ADIDAS to name a few.

6. Map My Run   
This is another map-based app for planning and running routes. It’s very easy to use and works off the GPS of your phone. A great app for tracking distance and pace of your run! 

7. Couch to 5km Runner     
This is a go to for anyone that dreams of running but doesn’t know how to catch that dream! The idea is to get you from couch to 5 km in 8 weeks at a sensible and controlled level.  There is over 4.2 million success stories off the back of this app – getting healthy, getting fit, basically saving your own life!  A great tool, spoken information, information updates and progression which helps you get your goal and there is a 5km to 10km follow-on app too.

8. Podcasts    
Strictly not an app but these are very helpful for achieving the long runs at slow pace for the marathon-runners out there!  There is a podcast for everyone, comedy, spoken books, physiotherapy, latest TED talks…the list is endless. A personal favourite for SPEAR physiotherapist, James is the Magic Sponge – a football talk programme sharing stories from the 90’s 00’s (disclaimer: the language is very choice so don’t download if easily offended).

9. Map – o – Meter    
This map app shows satellite and hybrid settings to plan your run.  It’s great for planning specific distance runs so you can complete training plans without having to run around the block a few times to make up the mileage!  Is a little tricky to map out the dots but gives a good distance between plots in either km, mile or feet.  

10.  Run-tastic     
This final app in the list, combines music adjusted to the tempo of the run.  It keeps with the speed of your run so your pace doesn’t drop when you get lost in the music.  A good feature of the app is the “running story” where an audio book is combined with music to maintain pace and speed whilst listening to a story lasting 30-35mins long (i.e on average, long enough to get between a 5-7 km run.)

The list is definitely not exhaustive and we are always hearing about new apps, if you have a favourite app and it’s not mentioned above,  let us know and some of the SPEAR team can download it and try it out. 

Side note – since James put out this question out there, other popular apps have come to light such as,  Zombie run – an app which goes along with a story line where you get chased by zombies and Run Smash – an app for data for logging runs and everything else data-driven! 



31st Aug 2017

In June, keen golfer and SPEAR Chartered Physiotherapist David Fanthorpe, addressed concerns regarding growing trends of golfers incorporating weight training into their routines and some myths surrounding lower back pain – read the full blog here.

This month David, who works closely with the Kings Link Golf Centre in Aberdeen, spoke to Fraser from Kings Links about common swing flaws he sees on a regular basis that can result in undesirable biomechanical loads being placed through the spine. (more…)


31st Aug 2017

SPEAR Physiotherapy and Sports Injury are delighted to launch a new service, SPEAR:Run, in mid-September. The service will be open to runners of any level and ability and is headed up by Chartered Physiotherapist, James Cruickshank. SPEAR:Run is an assessment programme designed to address your needs, your areas for development and to ensure you run strong, run injury free and run with enjoyment.

James too is a runner and understands the need to run and the demands it puts on your body. By understanding and recognising the external stressors that affect the body’s ability to accept load, transmit force and function fully, SPEAR:Run can look to identify where your increases in load have come from, why they have occurred and conclude if they are too much or too little for the stage of training your in. With this, James can then formulate your plan to minimize the risk of injury to your tissue. We spoke to James and asked why SPEAR:Run and what was the inspiration behind this new service. (more…)


28th Aug 2017

At SPEAR Sports Injury and Physiotherapy we specialise in sports injuries and neurological rehabilitation and our Physiotherapists rehabilitate clients using exercise therapy every day, so we are perfectly placed to teach Pilates classes.

Our expert knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and training with the APPI allow us to modify exercises to suit the individual client within a class, which ensures that every client is working at a level appropriate to them.  (more…)


17th Aug 2017

Neuro Pilates is acknowledged by physiotherapists as having benefits for several neurological populations including MS, Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease. Neuro physios with clinical background in working to achieve normal patterns of movement to improve function, can use the pilates method to assist in this goal.

The neuro-team at Spear Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic run two neuro pilates classes at the Aberdeen Sports Village. The class, run by neuro-physiotherapists, Lynn and Sarah, is tailored to individual needs, is a smaller class size and involves fewer exercises at a slower pace. (more…)


16th Aug 2017

Long time client and friend of SPEAR Physiotherapy and Sports Injury, Julie Erskine cycles for team OnForm and has used SPEAR physiotherapist, James for many years. They first met in Aberdeen University when Julie was studying for her PHD – legend has it she fed James carbohydrate drink, exercised him in a heat chamber and fed him fish and chips all in the name of science!

James recently sat down with Julie during her mid-season break and asked some questions on training, recovery, nutrition and the sort of sacrifices it takes to compete at the level Julie does! Not to mention a few anecdotes from her races around the world! (more…)


13th Jul 2017

Spear Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic run a successful mentorship programme, where new-to-trade or recent graduates get access to the clinic’s online resources and team of qualified physiotherapists. The SPEAR high performance environment is an exciting and dynamic place to be and there is only blue sky in our clinic!

Ideal candidates have the drive and enthusiasm to work in a musculoskeletal and sporting environment, with a fire in their belly to work in a private practise with a large emphasis on sport. Newly qualified physiotherapists need to be prepared to ride a steep learning curve and draw on the knowledge of our dynamic and skilled team. (more…)


10th Jul 2017

Pilates is a low impact form of exercise designed to strengthen the deep abdominals and gluteal muscles, which all help to support the lower back and hips – by strengthening the core you provide your body with a strong stable base from which to move.

SPEAR Physiotherapy and Sports Injury clinic offers morning and evening classes in Aberdeen City and Shire. Our physiotherapists’ expert knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and training with the APPI allow us to modify exercises to suit the individual client within a class, which ensures that every client is working at a level appropriate to them. (more…)


26th Jun 2017

Spear Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic work with a number of athletes (elite, professionals and everyone in between) and whilst we treat people from all sporting backgrounds, our own hobbies and experience in the the field can often drive our areas of expertise.

David Fanthorpe, a chartered physiotherapist with SPEAR is a keen golfer and works alongside Karen Young treating clients with golf-related injuries.  David and Karen also recently delivered a presentation in association with the Kings Links Golf Centre to golfers on related-injuries, recovery and prevention from a physiotherapy perspective.  We’ll be following up this presentation with a series of blog posts over the coming months.  This month David addresses concerns regarding growing trends of golfers incorporating weight training into their routines and some myths surrounding lower back pain.  (more…)

Josephine Anselin runs New Zealand

18th May 2017

In November 2016, Josephine Anselin left Scotland to run and hike New Zealand for 99 days, raising money for The Running Charity!

SPEAR physiotherapist, James worked with Josephine on some of the prep for her adventure and caught up with her during a clinic session in April, hosting a Q&A to learn more about her journey; including the idea, her motivation, food diary, training and mental and physical preparation for her time in the Wilderness!


SPEAR Neurological and Musculoskeletal team client success

10th Apr 2017

SPEAR Sports Injury and Physiotherapy specialise in sports injuries and neurological rehabilitation; providing treatment for muscle and joint injuries, Orthopaedic surgery, rehabilitation and work related neck and back pain.

Whilst all our clients enjoy success after a period of physiotherapy and proper recovery methods, now and again a story comes to our clinic that really breaks boundaries.

In summer 2016 SPEAR client, Douglas was in a serious Road Traffic Accident. A former policeman and Strongman competitor, Douglas suffered multiple fractures, a serious head injury and internal injuries from the collision. He spent three weeks in ITU and a further three months in hospital, before being discharged. Once home, Douglas was mainly wheelchair-bound and housebound.

Lesley and Isla, SPEAR physiotherapists from both the Neurological Rehabilitation team and the Musculoskeletal team, joined up and met with Douglas in December 2016. Physiotherapist Lesley, from the Rehabilitation team, describes the first few sessions: “Isla and I went to see Douglas at home for his first session as he hadn’t been out of his flat for months and was mainly wheelchair bound. We knew Douglas was desperate for help to get his life back on track.
Our first visit consisted of discussing Douglas’s injuries (of which there were many!). Douglas joked it would be quicker to tell us what hadn’t been broken than what had…he was right!!”


#teamSPEAR get moving for Movember

31st Oct 2016


SPEAR Sports Injury and Physiotherapy promote an active lifestyle and our aim is to keep our clients moving, this Movember we are supporting the men’s health fundraiser and have set a target to raise money and promote an active lifestyle. Move more!

The benefits of physical activity are well documented and even a small amount of increased movement can benefit your mental and physical health.


Physiotherapy and managing Concussion

31st Oct 2016

SPEAR’s Chartered Physiotherapist, Lisa recently held a talk to the  University of Aberdeen’s rugby team on Concussion.

As a Chartered Physiotherapy with SPEAR Sports Injury and Physiotherapy, Lisa has worked with rugby teams since her 4th year in university; with local teams, super Rugby League and Scottish Touch teams during the recent European Champions. She has over 8 years physiotherapy experience and is a qualified medical educator for Scottish Rugby Union (SRU).


#teamSPEAR PhysioBikefit

30th Sep 2016

#teamSPEAR are delighted to add a PhysioBikefit service to their list of services. Run by Chartered Physiotherapist, Ashley who recently completed a course, “The science of cycling-injury prevention” run by Incitus in Holland.

PhysioBikefit is an assessment session, fitting your body to your bike. Using a turbo trainer, the Physiotherapist will assess your body mechanics whilst you are riding your bike and guide you through a range of exercises specific to cycling form to assess body mechanics.


#teamSPEAR Step Ahead classes for stroke patients

26th Sep 2016

The SPEAR Step Ahead classes for stroke patients are back again after the summer.  The Step Ahead Charity, set up by SPEAR and run by an independent committee, offers physiotherapy-led post stroke exercise classes at the Aberdeen Sports Village.

Run by SPEAR’s neuro-physiotherapists, the classes are designed for maximum outcome and provide a fun and supportive environment for stroke patients. Carers also gain support from the friendly team and other carers as they can enjoy a coffee in the cafe during the class.


SPEAR classes in the Westhill clinic Studio

11th Aug 2016

One of the primary objectives SPEAR have for our clients is to keep them moving – recovery, repair and prevention – the bespoke studio space in the SPEAR Westhill clinic is ideal for group sessions and #teamSPEAR run Pilates, Yoga and Foundation Training sessions during the week.

Why use the SPEAR studio
The strength, stability and flexibility developed in a mat class can help you train more efficiently and stay injury-free. The classes are all considered low impact training and the benefits will increase sports performance and prevent injuries.

Pilates is designed to strengthen the deep abdominals and gluteal muscles, which all help to support the lower back and hips.

Physiotherapists rehabilitate clients using exercise therapy every day, so as Chartered Physiotherapists, SPEAR are perfectly placed to teach Pilates classes, our expert knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and training with the APPI allow us to modify exercises to suit the individual client within a class, which ensures that every client is working at a level appropriate to them.


SPEAR bring AposTherapy to the Westhill clinic

11th Aug 2016

SPEAR Sports Injury and Physiotherapy aim to provide the highest quality physiotherapy and neurological rehabilitation and our #teamSPEAR chartered physiotherapists work alongside various partners to ensure we keep our clients moving.

Balanced Edinburgh are providers of AposTherapy and we have partnered with the clinic to bring AposTherarpy to the SPEAR Westhill clinic for one day a month. AposTherapy is an innovative non-surgical and drug-free programme for knee and back pain, the method is based on a foot-worn biomechanical device which is individually-calibrated by specially-trained chartered physiotherapists in the Apos team.


Where in the world are #teamSPEAR?

16th Jul 2016

As experienced Chartered Physiotherapists, #teamSPEAR work in locations worldwide with sports teams and as part of a support team on various sport ventures worldwide. June was no exception and the team spent time in USA, Holland and supporting a cycle charity challenge in Aberdeen.

Ahead of the ALTIS facility opening in Aberdeen, Physiotherapists James and Karen flew to ALTIS world in Phoenix, Arizona for a week’s Performance Therapy Training. This hands-on training programme included a panel of experts in a classroom-learning environment and practical hands-on sessions with ALTIS athletes in the field.


Bespoke SPEAR Clinic opens in Westhill

16th Jul 2016

In May 2016, SPEAR Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic opened their fourth clinic in Westhill, Aberdeenshire. The purpose-built facility is the largest of the four-SPEAR clinics and plays host to a private treatment room, six-beds, retail as well as a Yoga and Pilates studio.

SPEAR’s first client-centred clinic opened in 2001 in the Banks o’ Dee Sports Club, a larger clinic space followed in 2009 in the Aberdeen Sports Village and the third SPEAR clinic started operating out of Meldrum House Golf Club in 2015, specialising in golf-related injuries and performance-based methods.


Welcoming a new member of the team to Aberdeen Sports Massage

4th Jul 2016

Welcoming a new member of the team to Aberdeen Sports Massage, which means more appointments available at all clinics!

Iona rowingAberdeen Sports Massage are delighted to announce that Iona Riley will be joining our team next week! She will be working from all three of our clinics and appointments with her can be specifically requested both online and on the phone. Head to the Aberdeen Sports Massage website to find the appointment and location that suits you best.

Iona graduated with aplomb from Robert Gordon University recently with a degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Sciences. She then went on to complete her diploma in Sports Massage Therapy. A decorated athlete, Iona has represented both GB and Scotland in rowing, medalling in the U23 World Rowing Championships. This experience of elite competition will stand her in good stead for helping you negotiate whatever physical challenges you have targeted this year. We are sure she will be popular amongst the rowing community in Aberdeen (heads up to Aberdeen Boat Club and Aberdeen Schools Rowing Association)!

Iona is not just all about the elite sports side to the job, relishing the challenges and opportunities that comes with our diverse clinic and client groups. She is looking forward to working with clients who’s aims are less performance orientated and more relaxation and the lighter forms of massage therapy.