Spring has finally sprung; first double digit day of 2014! Patios will be open, new potholes are waiting and the runners will be out in force…one almost ran into my Jeep in Charleswood…share the Road Winnipeg!
Nearly 60 percent of runners will experience injury in a calendar year.
Though that number is quite high, simple strategies can help most runners avoid injury. Running injuries are often related to training errors, such as increasing mileage too quickly, poor shoe break-in period or fit, and just being physically not ready for the season. Additionally, a structured strengthening and stretching routine can prevent the typical muscle imbalances that lead to injury from occurring.
A runner will benefit from doing more than just running. Many running injuries relate to overuse, so taking days off from running to bike or swim will reduce the pounding stresses of running on the body. Plan for a beginner triathlon, take the kids for a longer walk or bike ride…yourPhysio can help with cross training if you are looking for different activities and workouts.
YourPhysio can help to identify areas of weakness in a runner so a specific routine can be developed to address these potential areas of breakdown. It is best to consult with a physical therapist or trainer that has the experience and knowledge to identify and also get you on a workout routine that will help eliminate your weaknesses. Running isn’t just about your lower body strength. You must know how to breathe, how to kegel; and address the core muscles.
Most running injuries occur because of muscle imbalance. Running does not strengthen the key stabilizing muscles needed to prevent the most common injuries. Thus, having a routine to strengthen these areas is crucial.
It is important to take time off from running to allow the muscles and tissues of the legs to recuperate. Rest days allow the body a break from the stress of running and prepare it for the next day of training. Sleep is a huge part of recovery, so be sure to get adequate rest.
Past injuries often predict future injury. If you are chronically experiencing injury, consider seeking out an expert, such as a physical therapist, to help identify why you are vulnerable and to provide you with a corrective plan.
The body gives us warning signals that something is not right. A great example of this is pain. Listen to the body and react to what it is telling you. Pain is usually a sign that an imbalance of strength or flexibility is stressing local tissues. YourPhysio can help you correct these problems. Rest is a good first step, but it usually does not correct the actual problem.
If a runner can’t run without a limp they should not be running. Even a slight limp will most likely lead to other areas of the body being overly stressed. This scenario often results in having two painful areas instead of one.
Running requires the joints of our legs to move through dynamic ranges of motion. Leg muscles often need consistent stretching to be able to lengthen adequately for the sport of running. Stretching is especially important for runners who sit at a desk all day as these postures often tighten the leg muscles.
YourPhysio can analyze your running form to correct inefficiencies that can lead to injury. Subtle changes to posture and form can have a profound impact on reducing the amount of stress placed on the body while running.
It can take months to build up your running tolerance. Overuse injuries usually result from trying to increase mileage or intensity of training to quickly. Slowly progress all aspects of training to avoid the common pitfalls of training errors.
Preventing injuries while running is all about knowing your limits, adequate stretching, and cross training to help strengthen areas of your body that support you while running, like your core muscles. YourPhysio can be very beneficial to you if you are running either as a sport or just as a workout to build your cardio.
The Physio FitRun is May 10th! Entry forms are available at yourPhysio or at most private clinics in Winnipeg…and remember May is Physiotherapy Month in Canada…know yourPhysio!