5 Tips To Help Runners Avoid An Injury

Running is easy, right!

We’ve all done it as kids. It’s a quicker version of walking. You just put on your runners and off you go. Yet, why do so many people pick up an injury from running. There must be more to it.

In this short blog I’m going to go through 5 common reasons that can lead to runners getting injured and what you can do to help avoid them. 

1 – Start slowly 

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of been a little bit too eager and doing too much, too soon. The thinking behind it usually is ‘I will improve my fitness and my running, if I run more’. But, it is not as easy as this. 

Your body does not cope well when there is too big a jump in load or activity levels and it usually will tell you this by your muscles tightening up or becoming painful. This can lead to a muscle strain occurring.  

It is a good idea to plan your running days and give yourself adequate rest in between each one. If you are returning to running after injury or a break, then come back into it slowly.  Have a day’s rest in between each run. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘I was able to run at this speed last year, so surely I am able for it this year’.

2 – Watch your speed. 

It can be hard to get your head around this one but inorder to improve your running times, you need to be run slower, more often. 

Ok, lets get a bit more specific. 

80% of your running should be at a slow speed and just 20% of your running at a fast, race pace. 

This is the formula that top level runners use and it not only improves your running, but it greatly reduces your risk of picking up an injury. 

And just to clarify, a  slow speed should be one where you can breathe comfortably and have a conversation with someone while your running. 

3 – Be sure to allow adequate recovery.

Normally the mistake that inexperienced runners can make is to run to fast on a recovery day. If you have had a hard running session the day before or did some speed work, then the next day should be a slow easy run. 

Inexperienced runners can feel that they need to get the most out of their runs and I see a lot of people coming into the clinic with an injury, because they ran hard all the time. 

A recovery day should be an easy slow run, a walk, a swim or a light cycle, depending on your fitness levels and your running experience.

4 – Add in some strength training.

Running is basically a sport where you hop from one foot to another. If you don’t have good control of your body when your foot lands, then the repetitive nature of running will normally find this out, in the form of pain or an injury. 

Strength training for runners does not have to mean going to the gym and lifting weights. A lot of good work can be done at home with some exercises that use your own body weight and target the muscles coordinating and working together effectively. A simple resistance band can also be bought to add some variety. 

5 – Respect niggles!

A niggle is a slight ache or pain that may be there one day and not the next. It is enough to make you be aware of it, but not enough to stop you running. 

But, they are a warning sign and you need to take note of them. It normally means some part of you body is not quite happy, is been overloaded and you need to change something. 

That change may be reducing your training for a while, going to get it looked at by a physio, going for a massage or strengthening an area. 

Some people like to get niggles checked out straight away, others will wait and see if it passes. The important thing is that you make note of it and do something different to try and help it.

Finally

Running is a great form of exercise but because there is not initial skill involved in starting running, a lot of people can develop incorrect training habits. 

If you follow the 5 tips above it should keep you going pretty well. However if you are struggling with an injury or niggle that you can’t shake off, then give the clinic a call and get it checked out. 

You can call 09064 66761 to book an appointment.

Or if you are just looking for some advice and not sure if you need an appointment then click the button below and we’ll give you a call back. 

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