The West

Picture: Isika

Run, run, run - what is it about this time of the year and running? Fun runs, charity runs, group fitness runs and triathlon training runs are everywhere.

But running can take its toll. Overworked muscles, aching joints and jolted knees all come with the territory.

So it's perhaps with some irony that the club rooms of the West Australian Marathon Club is within a stone's throw of a runner's recovery delight at the new ISIKA Fitness and Spa within the renovated Burswood Entertainment Complex.

The fitness and spa gurus at ISIKA have combined their exercise physiology and massage therapy knowledge to create a Full Body Contour package for weary runners which still satisfies their urge for a physical challenge.

ISIKA Fitness is stamped with exclusivity. The gym equipment is among the best you'll find anywhere and the first tranche of memberships was released on an invitation-only basis. However, packages are open to guests at the refurbished Crown Metropol Perth hotel and also the public. The spa and fitness services are remarkably affordable.

The Full Body Contour package involves a private training session at ISIKA Fitness taking in the treadmill, Pilates Reformer and Power Plate aiming to restore muscles while also working tertiary areas for auxiliary strength.

ISIKA Health and Fitness advisor Craig Landquist said the Reformer helped strengthen the core muscles of the pelvis which again reduced the potential for injury to the lower limbs but also could improve speed and stability.

"The Power Plate is excellent for rejuvenating and recalibrating overused muscles and improving flexibility to minimise injury potential for runners," he said.

"The treatments are ideal complements to an existing training program for runners looking to give their bodies a positive break while improving muscle tone."

Next it's into the ISIKA Spa for a restorative physical training session involving trigger point treatments which, for a novice runner like me, unveiled inflexibility I never knew I had. Tight shoulders, stiff legs, serious knots are all worked out, but as each tension is identified and released comes utter relief.

According to Mr Landquist, not enough people, including runners, stretch enough - and with that comes tension, pain and even more difficulty exercising.

"Stretch, stretch, stretch," he said. And if you can't do it yourself, get some assistance from the team at ISIKA. The pain will be worth it.

By now the body is strengthened and stretched and next it's on to the ISIKA Spa for a delightful water therapy session. If you ever need a reward for running; this is it.

Water therapy is an excellent mode of muscular and systemic recovery. The practice of moving between heat and cold has been part of many different cultures for centuries; Korean and Turkish bathhouses are good examples, while in Western society water therapy has been embraced by sports science and is commonly used for recovery by professional athletes (think ice baths to steam rooms).

Here water therapy is taken a step further and with the ISIKA Plate - six luxurious Aveda products applied to the face, body and hair as you move between the private heated plunge pool and the steam room (interspersed with revitalising cold water showers).

This is a divine combination of scientific process and pampering, for just $59. The process is believed to accelerate cleansing as the skin expels toxins through the steamed environment and muscles relax further in the heat. Your face and body will thank you for it.

At 7 o'clock the next morning I headed to Kings Park for a run and felt refreshed, lithe and frankly fantastic.

Was it due to the ISIKA package? Who cares!

Monica Videnieks received treatments courtesy of ISIKA Fitness and Spa.

The West Australian

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