One of the most common injury risks for runners is taking on too much too quickly. Increases in distance or intensity of running place an increase in load through the ligaments, joints and muscles of the lower limb. It is very important to only increase training volume gradually, otherwise your body will break down. This is relevant in terms of distance covered in the one run, as well as the total number of kilometres run in a week. A good guideline is to increase total running distance per week by no more than 10%. Often, running training programs include hill runs and speed work, both of which are important if you are looking to run in a certain time. Be aware, however, that both of these activities cause a higher level of muscle loading than slow, flat runs. As such, it is necessary to factor these sessions in carefully.
Recovery is an essential component of any running program. Following a run, your body needs time to adapt and repair small micro tears that may occur. Given sufficient rest, your muscles will recover from this and adapt to become stronger. During recovery periods, it is important to maintain muscle flexibility by combining stretching and self management techniques such as utilising foam rollers or massage balls. Our physiotherapists can provide you with a range of stretches and techniques to assist with your recovery.
Incorporating rest days and easy runs into your program is also paramount in terms of not only preventing injury, but but to also improve speed. Overtraining commonly occurs without adequate recovery resulting in fatigue, deterioration and ultimately injury. It is advisable to have a recovery week every fourth week of running, where you reduce total kilometres covered by 50%.
When should I see a Physiotherapist?
Your physiotherapist is equipped to ensure that you are able to run active and injury free. If you are starting out speak to our team to develop a graduated program to stay injury free. Our running screening program also provides a biomechanical assessment of the lower limb to identify any problem areas before they cause trouble and limit running.
Treatment from your physiotherapist should be sought if you experience acute pain whilst running, muscle pain that doesn’t go away 48-72 hours post run, or a consistent ‘niggle’ each time you try and run. The sooner running injuries are addressed the less likelihood that rest is required. In addition to diagnosing and treating your injury, our physiotherapists will identify any other risk factors in order to return you to running as quickly and safe as possible.
To keep you running or prevent running injuries contact us today on 9571 6888 or at email@example.com