Whether you’re a social runner, sometime runner or training for an event such as the upcoming “Round the bridges”, perfecting your run is important. Here is some advice and tips designed to help you and your body enjoy the experience and avoid injury.
Once you have the runners’ bug, it’s hard to ignore. Just getting out and enjoying the blood pumping can be cheap therapy. Enjoying the high of endorphins, while your stress melts away and revel in the atmosphere of the outdoors or gym.
However, injuries and niggles come with the territory of running’s repetitive stresses. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, triathlon focused or elite athlete, little can annoy more than knowing that pain is going to be part of your experience.
Perhaps you have been training for an event, you’re less than 10 days away and that niggle has got worse. And then suddenly you’re still limping two days after your last run. You’re not going to be able to run the event, you’ve got an injury. What could have prevented this common scenario? Let’s take a look at some golden rules, and maybe some silver ones too.
Running is one of the most natural forms of exercise, but it’s also the most prone to injuries and overuse syndromes. The repetitive forces through the foot and all the way up to the shoulders, requires the whole body to work together, to effectively absorb and distribute through our body mechanics.
Let’s break it down. During foot strike, approximately two to four times your body weight travels up through the ankle, knee, thigh, hips and spine, to reach the head only six milliseconds later. The average runner is expected to strike the ground 480 to 1200 times every kilometre. This seems a lot, but the body is perfectly engineered to surpass these loading forces.
However, when the body is not running correctly and therefore shock absorbing as it’s designed, injury hits. The body needs each joint to shock absorb effectively, each leg needs the big muscles to absorb, and small muscles, tendons and ligaments to support and reduce unnecessary rotation torque forces. Then the force will transfer through the upper body to ensure energy isn’t wasted.
Clearly injuries aren’t due to the forces of running, but relate to how the body is being loaded, altering mechanical alignment, muscle function or physiological status.
Get your running assessed to ensure your injury risk factors can be checked and helped.