Well it’s that time of year again, with many of our dedicated running community well into training and gearing up for their favourite marathon or fun fun.
Our next local event is the Jetty to Jetty Fun Run in which many of our staff have taken part in the past. This will be held at Pelican park, Clontarf on 21st July 2019 and we’d like to wish all competitors good luck! See upcoming calendar of Fun Runs in Brisbane>>
As with any sport however, training can be particularly demanding and can take it’s toll if you aren’t well prepared.
Did you know, an average marathon runner takes 25,000 steps per race – that’s a huge amount of force – and the knee joints alone are found to take 5 times more load during running than walking! So if you’re running with even a slight misalignment, it can create the perfect storm for an injury.
In fact, up to 70% of recreational and competitive runners sustain overuse injuries during any 12-month period, according to Sports Medicine Australia. And a knee-jerking 42% of all running injuries are to the knee. Overuse injuries can occur from training errors (running frequency, duration, distance, speed and lack of leg strength and flexibility) and inappropriate surfaces, terrain and footwear, with the most common overuse injuries being Runner’s Knee or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome and Meniscal injuries.
Here are some simple tips to Avoid and Prevent Running Injuries-
- Before running, see a professional to identify potential musculoskeletal and health problems that may contribute to injury. Having your running gait professionally analysed can give you priceless information about your biomechanics.
- Always warm up and cool down by jogging slowly.
- Hydrate prior to running, during and after running.
- Good technique and practices will help prevent injury.
- Avoid doing too much too soon. Establish a graduated training program. Allow 24-48 hours rest and recovery between running sessions. Cross training, cycling or swimming can be done on ‘rest’ days.
- Include lower leg strength and flexibility exercises in your training program.
- Start slowly at a pace where you can have a conversation without breathlessness.
- Gradually build up running speed and distance (no more than 10% per week).
- Cut down if you experience pain. Pain is a sign that the body is not adapting to the exercise load.
- Avoid running when you are tired and at the hottest part of the day. Schedule runs for early morning or late afternoon and run in the shade, if possible.
- Run on a clear, smooth, even and reasonably soft surface. Avoid uneven surfaces, sand and concrete. Gradually introduce surface changes.
- Wear shoes specifically designed for running that match your foot type. When buying new shoes, have them fitted by a professional and take your old ones with you so the salesperson can identify where your shoes wear the most.
Please note: Running is not an appropriate form of exercise for those who are heavily overweight, have significant skeletal malalignment, unstable hips, spinal stress fractures or knee cartilage damage. Please always see your health professional before starting a running program.
Stretch and Strengthening Videos
A great running program also includes core strengthening and other exercises that can help improve your ‘weak spots’. Two really important areas to focus on are Calves and Gluteal Muscles and we have 2 great videos to assist with stretching, strengthening and foam rolling.
If an injury occurs-
- Rest or modify your activity to allow overuse injuries to heal and inflammation to subside.
- Gradually return to running (10% increase in distance per week) once flexibility, strength and endurance have returned
- If you suffer severe or continuing pain, swelling or loss of motion, seek medical attention from a sports medicine professional.
In most cases minor running injuries will heal naturally with rest & recovery time and physical therapy and/or other non-invasive treatments. We recommend getting the injury assessed as soon as possible however, to determine the best treatment plan to reduce the chance of causing any further, sometimes irreparable damage.
If you would like to start running or are injured and need to have your injury treated by an expert who fully understands the demands of running at any level, please contact us to book an Initial Physio assessment. All of our Physios are experts at getting you back on the road as fast and safely as possible!
(References -Sports Medicine Australia)