As summer comes along many of us see our holidays looming and want to get beach-body ready. A great way to get into shape of course is to go running because it’s effective, cheap to do and enjoyable. But for many people, particularly those who are not used to it, there are some things to watch out for.
We treat many runners at the Clinic, whether it’s for associated back problems or knee/ankle injuries. If you haven’t learned already – no, chiropractors don’t just ‘crack backs’! If you follow some straightforward advice you may be able to prevent injuries altogether so here are our top tips for all you budding Mo Farahs out there:
1: The Terrible Toos: One of the main causes of injury is a relatively new runner trying to do too much, too soon, too fast. The body needs time to adapt to new activity and this is true even if you are experienced but haven’t gone out running for some time. Its absolutely essential that you know your limitations and only increase your training by a maximum of 10% per week, preferably less.
2: Stretching: Before and after running make sure that you thoroughly stretch out those legs and hips. If you begin running with tight muscles you are asking for trouble.
3: Shoes That Fit: It’s absolutely essential that your running shoes fit properly. Altering your gait for ill fitting shoes can cause severe problems.
4: Shorter Strides: Try not to leap forward when running. A shorter stride leads to a softer landing and reduces the risk of injury.
5: Strength Training: Try to incorporate some training that improves core strength and flexibility. This will help you to run with a degree of symmetry and reduce the risks. An imbalanced run often leads to problems.
6: Ice Works: See our earlier blog on this. Ice is very effective in reducing swelling and you should treat any aches and pains this way. It really does work and helps with recovery too.
7: Beware of the Camber! Many road runners have injuries caused through runnning on the road camber. The side angle on the road as it leads towards the gutter causes the feet to be angled unnaturally and this leads to injuries, not only of the foot but the knees, hips and back. Yes, folks, everything is connected!
Running can be great fun and works wonders for a person’s well-being, not only because it’s a fabulous cardio workout but it gets you out and about in the fresh air. However, it can also be tough on the joints and muscles. Enjoy your running but be aware that employing some simple precautions can keep you fit and healthy for much longer.