A household name among runners in Bangalore, Dr. Gladson Johnson is a sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist and is also a Certified Manual Physiotherapist. Starting his career a local hospital gave him insights into orthopedic rehabilitation and made him realize the limited scene of rehabilitation in India. An avid runner, Dr Johnson combined his passion for the activity with his profession to become one of the leading names in physiotherapy, running training and muscular development in running.
In the pursuit of this, he left his job and started his second career in fitness and started his clinic, Attitude Prime, in 2010. FirstRun caught up with him for a quick tête-à-tête about all things running, and being prepared for all conditions.
What made you want to change your career and get into fitness/physiotherapy?
From a very young age health was a rare commodity to me as I was suffering from wheezing and would not be able to carry my school bag without losing my breath half way. All childhood activities were nil for me as I could not play around or do anything because of my breathlessness. This even altered my personality and I became an introvert and that translated to very low self-esteem.
When we have various priorities like family, work and more, then it is just smart to realize that all those priorities cannot go a long way if one does not have health.
When I was 18, I was introduced to martial arts and that changed my life forever. I started to gain strength, flexibility and endurance. It impacted my personality so much that I became an extrovert. My physical limitations vanished and I started to taste what is it to feel healthy. My journey in fitness was kick started 16 years ago and is an ongoing process. At the age of 26 I decided to do my specialization in “Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy” and am today sharing the magic of “Exercise Is Medicine” to thousands.
You have run marathons and triathlons. How do you manage to balance your work along with the preparation needed for these strenuous runs?
I have run 11 marathons and 4 triathlons so far. I am a hardcore barefoot runner. I run Attitude Prime. I’m married to a beautiful lady and have two wonderful kids. I honestly feel that that it isn’t difficult to balance all since exercising regularly is a choice and a matter of prioritization. When we have various priorities like family, work and more, then it is just smart to realize that all those priorities cannot go a long way if one does not have health. I am an early bird and finish my 90 minutes of training early in the morning before my family wakes up. Hence my training does not cut through valuable family time or work time. It’s a priority. My current goal is to do the Ironman and I’m working hard towards that.
— Dr.Gladson Johnson (@Dr_Gladson) June 13, 2015
What are the most common ailments you hear of from runners?
Common injuries that I get to see in the running world are IT Band Syndrome, Achilles Tendinitis, Plantar Fasciitis and Piriformis syndrome. But to be honest, adequate strength and flexibility training can actually prevent 80% of the injuries.
My current goal is to do the Ironman and I’m working hard towards that.
How important is a warm up before a run?
A proper warm up can set the tone in the body for the activity proceeding. It should include at least one aerobic activity like jogging, skipping, jumping jacks etc for 5-7 minutes, followed by dynamic stretches to get the rhythm set for the activity. A proper warm up can minimize injuries to a great level and could also prevent early fatigue, which usually minimizes performance.
Wishing you all a healthy 2015 & discover the new you! pic.twitter.com/aultkuKzvn
— Dr.Gladson Johnson (@Dr_Gladson) January 1, 2015
If you had to give one piece of advice for runners to try and avoid injuries, what would that advice be?
We all are born runners. Hence running alone is not the training to improvise ones running performance. Rather running should be coupled with adequate strength and flexibility exercises in order to prevent injuries and to maximize efficiency.
You can follow Dr Gladson Johnson on Twitter here.
Main image: Dr Johnson running the Raramuri Marathon