Preventing Running Injuries- Top Tips
Many of our clients here at Myolab are runners. Ranging from recreational to elite, it is such a common form of physical activity for many people in the population. It can also be one of the most common forms of exercise that result in injuries, niggles and pain. We want to set you up with some of our top tips on how to prevent running injuries, so you can implement some of these things into your routine.
As many as 79% of runners are sidelined with injuries, pain and niggles each year, with many being sidelined multiple times. Injury prevention and injuries themselves are multifaceted, with each runner having different anatomy, training programs, outcomes and injury history, making injury prevention challenging. However, in recent years, the focus has majorly shifted from just focusing on the treatment of injuries, to the actual prevention of the injuries themselves. Hence why, no matter what level you are operating at, the prevention is the key.
#1- Return to running and build up your program gradually
One of the biggest issues is load management, and training error. The body needs gradually induced increases, otherwise anatomically and physiologically it is unable to adapt correctly, which results in failing of correct biomechanics, tissue repair, and adjustment to load. By gradually and incrementally increasing the training demands, your body can continually adapt at a reasonable rate, and you are able to keep a close tab on what’s working and what’s not working, and monitor how well your body is adjusting.
#2- Ensure you are following a well thought-out program
This brings us to the next point- to enable you to build up your program and load, you need to ensure you are following a well thought-out program! To get the most out of your running, you need to ensure you have a varied program, which will enable your body to build strength, agility, proprioception, and more, to have a well- rounded approach to your fitness.
#3- Foam rolling, spiky balling and stretching are paramount
Ongoing self- release in conjunction with any treatment you may be getting is key. Without proper release, and mobilising of the muscles & connective tissue, the constant load and up-leveling of the program will be difficult on the body. The new increase in load on the body due to the increase in running will place the extra need to make sure you are giving the muscles, tendons and ligaments a little bit of extra care.
#4- Add Strength
In the prevention of injury, a runner’s best protection is a strong body and a strong base. Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons will help guard against impact, lead to a consistent gait and improve quality and form of the runner. If you are having areas of the body that are weaker, or issues with biomechanics, one stride of the gait will not be like the rest, leading to issues with incorrect loading, dysfunctional gait and further down the track to potential injury. Most runners lack strength in at least one muscle group, and also their neuromuscular pathways which is how the brain and body communicate. When a stronger body runs, it enables everything up and down the chain to work as a team and a unit, for example, the glutes and core contract to allow the pelvis and leg to work efficiently and steadily, the foot and ankle muscles are activated, enabling the brain to tell the muscles to brace for impact before and as the foot hits the ground. If any of these processes are impacted by a break in communication or lack of recruitment, the whole chain and flow on effect of the movement is disrupted, causing non-efficient biomechanics. We also recommend doing some of your strength training barefoot to ensure the ability of the intricate muscles all the way from the feet upwards are getting recruited and trained. This enables the neuromuscular pathways to be more efficiently strengthened.
If you are struggling with any running injuries, or need a consultation to assess your movement and deficiencies or give the body a treatment, book online or give us a call on 9917 2408 to see how we can help you.