Running Repairs and Avoiding Breakdowns
Running Repairs vs Breakdowns
Whatever your goal this year, an event or achieving a new PB or just to get fit, running and walking remains one of the cheapest and most addictive ways to keep fit. What is always a difficult conversation in clinic though is when we have a client come in and things have started to go wrong. Tight bits have turned into sore bits and now they are getting in the way of training. It may mean these clients are advised that taking some time off training is required while the injury heals or restricting the type of training they are doing. It may mean their goals for this season are unattainable. Heartbreaking when so much time and effort has gone into the training. We want to try and avoid those conversations this year so we have written a troubleshooting guide to keep you on track. We would rather be helping you towards your goal than fixing something when it is too late!
Everybody has an area of the body that may require special attention more than other areas. This may be dictated by previous injuries, your occupation or the activity you have chosen to participate in. For some it may be the lower back, for others the achilles/calf region. Having some go-to exercises, stretches, foam roller routines etc. for these areas will keep the niggles at bay and keep you on track. What if you do not know what your go-to areas are or how to keep on top of them? Well that brings us to no2.
2. The role of the Massage Therapist
A good Sports Therapist will be able to, through a range of quick tests combined with your medical and sporting history, be able to find areas of concern or areas that may require improvement. A lot of running and walking related injuries can be caused by changes in muscle length and if caught and recognised early enough, can be avoided. We call this PREHAB.
A review with a sports therapist throughout your training journey can be beneficial in helping you recover from training blocks, prevent injury and ultimately improve your performance by ensuring your body moves optimally. For some this may be fortnightly, others monthly. This can be done on an ad-hoc basis when your self-maintenance does not feel like it is enough.
The most common way people at this time of year injure themselves is doing too much too soon. A good rule of thumb to use is the 10% rule. Try not in the course of a week to increase the distance or times of your walk or run by more than 10%. This gives your body a chance to adapt and protects structures like tendons from being overloaded. Remember to build in rest days to your schedule too. Your body will enjoy too many consecutive days of training without a chance to recover.
I realise this is going to sound like that PE teacher or sports coach from your youth but some health and fitness advice does not change over the years. Preparing your body for activity and then recovering afterwards is the cornerstone to remaining injury free. A good dynamic warm-up pre-activity and a good static stretching session post-activity is the current consensus on what is most effective.