Injury Prevention

There’s no single reason why we get injured, but there are few common factors to consider to help prevent injury:

  1. a)   poor or incorrect running shoes
  2. b)   training errors
  3. c)   muscle weakness
  4. d)   inadequate flexibility
  5. e)   poor or abnormal biomechanics

How do we address these points?

Muddy shoes

Step 1

Shoes are the most important piece of kit you will own.

Buy the best shoes you can afford from a reputable running shop. Yorkshire Runner in Otley is our local independent go to shop. The guys are all runners and trained in gait analysis – they understand even if you don’t. Find a local independent near you and get them to do your gait analysis. It’s a free service. This determines how your foot lands on the ground and the type of shoe best suited for your foot and style of running. Not all shoes suit all runners and remember they should last for around 300 – 500 miles depending on your size, weight, foot strike and the shoe. Replace them after they reach that distance.

Step 2

Probably the number one cause of running injuries is when runners do too much, too soon, too fast. The body needs time to adapt from training changes and jumps in mileage or intensity. Build your weekly training mileage by no more than 5 to 10 percent per week. For example, if you follow the 5 percent rule and run 10 miles the first week, do just 10.5 miles the second week, and so on. If you are recovering from an injury or are brand new to running, it is best to stay close to the 5 percent limit or you’ll run the risk of injury or re-injury. More experienced runners who have no history of injuries can safely train closer to the 10 percent limit.

Cross train to help with your running and improve muscle balance. Swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates and rowing will all improve your aerobic fitness too, be careful not to aggravate an existing injury. Don’t over-do any specific type of training and remember rest days are a critical as training days.

 Step 3

So, you all thought the plank challenge was just a bit of fun (maybe not!)  and then we asked you to do a squat challenge as well. Strengthening the core and hip muscles is critical to remaining injury free. Strength training helps to keep the body properly aligned while you are running. When you strengthen the hips—the abductors, adductors, and gluteus maximus—you increase your leg stability all the way down to your ankles this also helping to prevent knee injuries.

We aren’t aiming for bulging muscles, just enough core, hip, and lower-leg strength training to keep your pelvis and lower-extremity joints properly positioned. If you don’t have muscle balance, then you lose the symmetry, and that’s when you start having problems. The Oregon circuits are designed to help us strengthen muscles and prevent injury, click here so you can do them whenever, wherever.

 Step 4

How many of us are guilty of not doing our stretches before or after a run?
Before you run you need to warm up, this could be stretches or a walk into a light jog. If you stretch before a run the stretches must be dynamic. This means moving stretches – walking lunges, skipping etc. When you cool down the stretches need to be static, the exact opposite of the warm up stretches. The warm up is showing your body what to expect and getting you prepared for the run, the cool down is putting the muscles back to rest.

Step 5

The biomechanics are not as complicated as they sound. It’s all about your position, here are some things to remember:

  1. a)   Imagine a golden thread holding your head up – keep your eyes looking forward. Run tall
  2. b)   Arms should swing like a pendulum at your sides – try sockets to pockets, tapping your imaginary drum on the side of your hip. With your arms down by your sides lightly touch your pocket with one hand and your eye socket with the other. Set off running and keep the arms in time from socket to pocket. This isn’t how you will run in a race or over a distance (unless you’re sprinting) but it will help you remember your arm position. This stops the upper body twisting.
  3. c)   Keep the hands relaxed, hold an imaginary crisp between your thumb and forefinger.
  4. d)   Try to be relaxed and let go of any tension.

Here’s to a happy and healthier running crew. Enjoy your running

Jane & Andy