Find a physio that understands running! Running is an excellent way to keep fit and healthy. It helps clear your mind and keep body weight at down. Unfortunately it often can come hand in hand with injuries which can really slow you down and lead to frustrations, both physically and mentally.
The body has been able to run long distances for years and years. It finds brilliant ways to store and reuse energy. A great example are how tendons work like an elastic band to store and release the energy. In case you didn’t know tendons are what connect a muscle to the bone. The Achilles tendon constantly ‘springs’ the heel up and off the ground during running. Having an excellent ability to use & load tendons for a long time will make you a great long distance runner.
How do I avoid an injury?
There are a number of ways to avoid an injury when running. It’s good to note that one quarter of runners are likely to have an injury at any one time. And with the increase in popularity in recent years I’m sure this number will only improve unless we take a more preventative approach.
Most injuries with running involve changes in load. It’s important to have an understanding when we are doing too much & allow our bodies to adapt
Quite simply, we must gradually increase the load (speed, distance & hills) to prevent injury. This will allow the muscles, tendons and bones to respond and get stronger gradually as distance & speed increases. Runners get injured when we increase the load too quickly and the muscles, tendons and bones breakdown and get overloaded.
Load can also be affected by many other changes such as:
- Distance / time / intensity
- Terrain e.g. surface type, uphill, downhill
- Running technique
Running injuries are common and often affect the lower limbs.
How can physio help?
We can look at a variety of factors of what may have lead to an injury including:
- Muscle strength & flexibility
- Training load – distance, speed, hills. How much is too much?
- Footwear advice
- Running biomechanics
Once the factors have been identified a plan can be made to get you running faster as soon as possible! Most running injuries don’t require stopping running – it is mostly about getting the load and distance right!
What if I am not injured?
To avoid an injury you can take the following steps!
- Perform adequate warm ups
- Perform strength training (can reduce injury chance by 50%!)
- Plan your training and recovery routine with the help from an expert
- Increase your training by no more then 10% a week
If you have a niggle before, during or after running your physio can help. If you are not sure how to manage these get in touch!
By Patrick Mcfadyen – 13/01/20119