If you are a new or novice runner, then this is for you.
Hear from our massage therapist James who has ran for GB in the European Cross Country Championships.
Tip Top 1: monitor your training levels
You can do this using a Garmin watch, which tells you how much mileage you’re doing over a week, and then you can monitor each week and see how much your mileage is going up and down. It can also allow you to monitor how fast you’re running in each of your run and also your heart rate for each run. So it’s just a good way to see that you’re not progressing your training too much, which then could put you at risk of injury.
Top Tip 2: screening your strength and flexibility
It’s important to understand where you’re flexible in your muscles, where you’re tight in your muscles, and also which muscles are weak or which muscles are strong, because then that can give you an idea of what you need to stretch and what you need to strengthen to reduce your chance of injury. Here at Perfect Balance, we offer a screening tool that allows you to see in depth, which muscles are weak and which muscles are strong and likewise, your flexibility. So, it’s good to use that to then just set an exercise plan that you can do in the future to prevent the risk of getting injured.
Top Tip 3: prehab
Prehab is what you do before you get injured, so it’s the exercise to prevent injury. So, it’s important to do these every day if you can, to help build on your weaknesses. If you have weak hips and you can do glute exercises that help stabilise your hips as you’re running so you’re not walking backwards and forwards, which then could cause knee problems further down the line or shin splints and ankle issues. So, prehab is very important in prevention of injury. Likewise, rehab is important for getting back from injury.
Top Tip 4: consistency
The most important thing you can do to stop yourself getting injured is being consistent. As before with tip one, monitoring your training levels, if you’re doing 10 miles one week of running, then you jump up to 40 miles, then that following week, and you go back down to 10 miles and then to no miles the following week after that. That change in load is going to increase your risk of your tendons getting injured, your ligaments getting injured because they can’t adapt to that load. So the best thing for your tendons ligaments is to increase it very slowly over each week, not really over 10% each week. So that means your tendons can keep up with the changes in load and it means they can layer down strong collagen fibers.
Top Tip 5: keep moving!
The best thing you can do is to keep moving throughout the day. Stand up every half an hour, just have a little stretch, walk around for a minute and then sit back down.
Garmin watches are great for this. They bleep every 30 minutes, when you’ve been sitting down for too long, so that’d be a good reminder just to keep you getting up and moving around. And it’s also important to stay active through your day. So, don’t just do running, you can incorporate gym work or swimming, cycling, make sure you keep moving around and keep going for walks and things like that.
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