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Run Smarter with your Data

Updated: May 27, 2020

Good day fellow COVID warriors,

I write to you during strange times…

Running in the garden or up and down the driveway during stage 5 to running on the roads in the early mornings in stage 4 COVID-19 has influenced our exercise routines. Despite the restrictions our spirits remain high as I’ve seen scrolling through the inspiring insta stories; facebook posts and strava run posts. During my morning commute I am encouraged to see the streets filled with runners.

Training routines have had to be adjusted and re-adjusted. As a Physiotherapist, we see a direct relationship between load management and injury. Excessive loads placed on musculoskeletal structures will contribute towards injury. Firstly, how can we prevent training errors and secondly treat an injury if it occurs?

Tips for Managing your Runs

Training Load: Too much too quickly is synonymous with injury. Having a baseline and a gradual progression minimises risk for injury and allows tissues to become accustomed to loads whether that be increasing distance; time spent running or amount of runs in a week. Tissues must be overloaded but given time to adapt to these incremental loads.

Training Intensity: “Go hard or go home” is nonsensical. Continued high intensity exercise is unsustainable and will contribute towards fatigue and subsequent injury. Lower intensity training does not mean you’ll race slowly.

Recovery Period: Recovery ensures adequate rest preventing fatigue related injuries. Of course, running 30 seconds faster per kilometre looks better on your run sheet, but how will it influence your runs later that week? Giving our bodies time to recover ensures optimal performance in the long run.

S2 – Strengthening & Stretching: Strengthening weak areas will improve running economy. Common problem areas include the glutes; quads; hamstrings and calves. Muscle tightness and joint stiffness can be prevented with static and dynamic stretches.

NB: Dynamic before your run means well done; Static before your run means you’re dumb. Think of your warm-up as a 5-minute pre-flight check. Dynamic stretches include skipping; high knees; butt kicks etc.

Footwear: Comfortable shoes are vital for preventing discomfort and injury. Worn out shoes contribute towards overuse injuries with more stress placed on lower limb joints. Shoes should be changed between 400-600kms.

Understandably, adhering to these principles is easier said than done. Injuries still occur, but how do we manage these injuries?

Common Running Injuries Include:

· Plantar Fasciitis.

· Runner’s Knee/Knee Pain

· Calf Injuries

· Shin Splints

· ITB Pain

· Achilles Tendonitis

· Stress Fractures

As a Physio we assist our patients in allowing for a pain-free return to sport and prevention of re-occurring injuries. We manage your injury holistically by aiming to minimise pain; correct biomechanical abnormalities; review training schedules and correct muscle imbalances to name but a few.

Our online training schedule review is a beneficial tool for our runners. Analysing your running data, we can inform you of the risk of injury; your preparedness for a race or if you already have an existing injury the cause thereof and when you can return back to the running scene. We can even help you get your free smoothie at the end of the week!