How To Approach Your Health Like Mark Webber

Prior to the 2013 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix here in Melbourne we had Mark Webber attend our clinic as part of his meticulous training program designed to maximise his performance on the track. Whilst the fact we had arguably one of Australia’s top athletes in our clinic was incredible, it was his approach to understanding his body and his desire to continuously improve his training that impressed me most.

Dr Simon Sostaric has been involved with Mark for the past 3 years as his exercise physiologist and is partnered with Melbourne Podiatry Clinic under the Melbourne Sports and Health Group. He describes Mark as an incredibly driven and determined individual who loves the high precision side of performance with an excellent appreciation of what is required to be a top level athlete. Formula 1 driving is incredibly demanding on the body and requires elite physical and mental fortitude to withstand the demands the sport places on the body.

Mark is always looking for ways to tweak his ability to be a better technical athlete and running is fundamentally important to the training he does. In 2008, he was involved in a serious cycling accident during his Pure Tasmania Challenge and suffered a compound fracture in his right tibia. He required surgery and had a 30 cm titanium rod inserted into his leg. I was involved in the 3D gait analysis with biomechanist, Dr Oren Tirosh, as the rod had been recently removed and he was keen to conduct a follow-up assessment to ascertain if anything had changed in regards to his running technique.

What impressed me most was his ability to cut through all the jargon and find out exactly what is wrong and how he could fix it. Following the testing, it was the same Mark Webber we see deep in conversation with his race engineers on race day or during qualifying on the race broadcast. In the sport of Formula 1 where the margin for error is so small, it is key to his success to have experts who can process the relevant data related to his performance and then convert it into bite size information he can use on the track and in his preparation.

Whilst most of us aren’t fortunate enough to have health experts to provide around-the-clock care, we all must employ an active role in maintaining good health. Demand from your health professional a thorough explanation of your condition so you are fully informed and know exactly what you need to do to get better. Demand to know the name of your condition, the cause and have them explain all your blood test results, X-Rays and MRIs thoroughly.

Next time you’re at your doctor, physio or podiatrist, take the Mark Webber approach and demand to know what extra you can to do so you can get back on the track sooner!

– Andrew Maitland – Sports Podiatrist –

At Melbourne Podiatry Clinic we are able to offer unique diagnostic services such as 3D gait analysis that previously have only been reserved for elite athletes. We can provide precise and detailed reports to give us a comprehensive understanding of a patient’s running biomechanics to help them break free from the treatment merry-go-round. If you are unsure of exactly what your diagnosis is, how can it be treated effectively and correctly? Our focus is on establishing the cause of your problem to make the necessary changes to get you back to the sports you love!