So, why not start Today? Want to run safely by preventing running related injuries?
As a physiotherapist and a runner myself, my number one tip to anyone who is starting to run or already a runner is education. Read, listen and learn. The best person to train you is yourself but join a club, find a coach, talk to a professional, read a book, listen to podcasts or videos.
The human body will adapt as long as the applied load is not greater than the body’s capacity to adapt. Overuse injuries are caused by an overload of the body’s anatomical structures (bones, tendons, muscles). Every new stimulus must be integrated progressively (hills, volume, intensity, surface, shoes…).
Just like your first day in the gym, you will not lift 100 lbs weights, just because your body is not ready yet, but with consistent training it is possible.
Cadence – is the number of steps per minute. In simple words, how many times your feet hit the ground in one minute. On average there is a sweet range of 170 to 190 steps per minute. This is a proven formula to reduce impact, minimize stress load and improve running economy. Based on your body type may vary for every person but with proper training it can be modified.
Controlled step down – one of the few heavily recommended exercises is step down. This movement loads the entire lower body effectively. Done correctly it helps to strengthen muscles, improves balance and proprioception as well as helps to prevent injuries. Generally, they are done sets of 3 with 10 – 12 reps. This exercise should not be painful anywhere in the knee, hip or ankle.
Stretching – While flexibility is often overlooked in the running world and we all say this with a guilty face: “yes, yes, I do not stretch as much as I should.” Two muscle groups which fall into the Must category are Hip flexor and the quadriceps – these are in front of the thigh. One simple way to stretch them is shown in the picture below. Of course modifications are necessary based on current status. When done effectively, this stretch should be held for 20 – 30 seconds and repeated at least 2 times after runs.
Avoid excessive stretching before runs, it actually negatively affects the running economy.
While running has a lot of things to focus on and abundant materials and resources to go through, any level of running can help to prevent diseases, boost immunity and uplift the spirits. There are countless benefits of running and everyone has their own reasons to start or continue, done safely this so called injury prone sport can bring a lot of joy and sense of fulfillment in life. Start today, your future self will thank you for this decision.