Top 5 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries This Season
Wear Appropriate Footwear
The best running footwear is often a confusing topic for many amateur runners. In simple terms the type of footwear can vary based on foot type and style of running. For example, a long distance runner with large pronation (foot turning inwards) will need a shoe with increased rear cushioning and an insole which can support the inner part of the foot. Although footwear can be very much individual based on the above, a simple home check that can be performed is to see how easily your shoe bends forward, sidewards or twists. If this is easily done, it’s likely that the shoe won’t offer much support!
Strength & Conditioning
Several studies have shown the benefits of performing 2-3 resistance training sessions per week in order to enhance running performance as well as reduce the likelihood of muscle and joint related injuries. By increasing whole body strength (Lower limb, trunk and upper limb) and increasing the functionality of the muscles you can help project joint structure as well as improve load control/absorption while running.
Proper Training Program Cycling
It’s important when commencing any running program to gradually introduce training loads for the body to adjust and not go all out at the start. The principle of progression and periodization means gradually preparing the body to handle workout stress. You slowly build up the amount of training you do along with bumping up the intensity. Increases in training volume, duration and intensity should be a gradual increase of 5-10% per week. While certain times of the year may require you to reduce training activity in preparation for a race/game etc. There is a lot of eccentric loads which can lead to shin splints if not properly recovered!
Assess Biomechanics (How you move)
Poor foot biomechanics such as heel strike, excessive pronation, or a very rigid or very flexible foot arch can lead to inefficiency and injuries. Most runners can control these problems by carefully selecting the right shoe type, by analyzing running gait in order to develop an exercise program targeted at strengthening those deficient muscles that lead to break down as you run and other issues such as low back pain, shin splints and knee pain.
Recovery and Refuel
One of the most important components for performance and injury reduction is ensuring the body has refuelled correctly regarding rest, recovery and nutrition. Ensure during the training season that you are getting enough protein, carbohydrates, water and vitamins in your diet to help speed up muscle recovery and development. Ensure to keep on top of your flexibility through foam rolling/massage during heavy training sessions and don’t hesitate to visit your therapist in order to take care of any nagging injuries before they develop into a long-term issue.
Enjoy the Season!
Need help starting? Book an appointment with our experienced coaches to set you up for success.