In January each year, there are plenty of reasons we would like to run more. Maybe it’s to:
Complete a fun run
Improve your 5km PB
Finally finish a half or full marathon, or
Beat Geoff Smith in the Saturday Sandon Point Parkrun
These are fantastic reasons, especially beating Geoff (PhysioHealth’s awesome Massage Therapist and great runner). However, sometimes the training starts off amazing and then moves to am-ouching (sorry- that didn’t really work). What I mean is, the niggles and tender spots can start to appear- anywhere from the lower back down to the toes.
There are plenty of factors that can contribute to these aches and pains.
Some of your body’s reasons:
Poor strength in your legs
Poor pelvic/trunk stability
Tight, overused muscles
Some outer body reasons:
Overload- all or nothing principle
Geoff Smith’s elbow barges..?
Here are a few tips for new or old (experienced) runners to consider before, during and after you pound the pavement.
Just start. Let’s get moving. E.g Walk. Powerwalk. Shuffle. Jog. Who cares?
Pace Yourself. Overload is one of the main causes of injuries when starting a running program. Take it easy, bro. Eg. Run for a remixed 90’s song, walk for a Taylor Swift song, and consider not running on consecutive days.
Build some strong legs. When you aren’t running do some leg resistance work to get some juice in those pins. Research has shown that powerful and strong muscles make running easier.
Technique. You may feel like a Kenyan track athlete when you’re running, but you actually look like Peter Garrett busting out Blue Sky Mine on stage- arms and legs everywhere! Running is a skill and you might need to have your style assessed.
Shorter strides and minimal trunk rotation. Striking the ground as close to your centre of mass as you can, by not overstriding will reduce the braking force through the foot. There’s also no need for the washing machine dance whilst running. Avoid your arms crossing the midline of your trunk during swing.
Quick steps. Increasing your step rate can reduce the loading response when your foot hits the ground. This can help reduce the incidence of joint stresses in the knee.
Stabilise that trunk and Pelvis. Looking like you are “Zumba-ing” and running isn’t really 2015. Gain some control of that core with Pilates to improve performance.
Footwear. Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life! But no matter how great a shoe looks, it must be comfy and needs to be in good nick .There’s a variety of heel heights in running shoes out there. The type for you is dependent on your foot posture, body shape, and experience with running.
Recover. Let those muscles relax and recover. Grab a specific Runner’s Massage to help speed recovery, prevent injury and just feel sooooo good.
Drop into PhysioHealth in Corrimal to have any running niggles assessed and treated or grab a Runner’s Massage so you can work out which half of the marathon you will actually run….!!