It is one of those easy-to-do things when you want to be more active and feel more energetic. We are easily grabbing hold of a pair of running shoes, and we’re off to the races (or the park or treadmill, for that matter). And yes, it definitely has its place in the health continuum.
However, as healthy and stress-releasing as it may be, more than 70% of runners (beginner and experienced) are facing injuries during their running or jogging trajectory. In many of these cases, runners lack proper knowledge on how to prevent injuries or recover from whatever injury rises.
A regular stream of clients with running-related injuries have visited Physio Bangkok for treatment, and many similarities came to the light. When you just started running, and you are facing your first injury, chances are quite high that it is connected to over usage. From going too far, running too fast, or too soon after being fully recovered, all these are often indicators that you lack the knowledge in making slow progression.
Here are some points runners may take into consideration to avoid injuries in the future.
- It is highly recommendable to add strength training to your training routine;
- Start slow if you are new to running. Find the right balance may include combining walking with running;
- Increase your total running distance every week by not more than 10%:
- Keep your total running distance to a maximum of 90 kilometres per week. There is little proof available that running more than this increases your performance, yet has proven to be you are more susceptible to injuries;
- The best running surfaces are soft and flat grounds. Avoid uneven and slanted surfaces where possible;
- When feeling discomfort or pain, immediately intercept these bodily triggers and run slower, run less, or even walk. It is not recommendable running through the pain. Pain is a signal that something is not right;
- If you encounter bouts of pain during your running sessions, rest for 2 to 3 days. If it does not subside after one week, we strongly suggest seeing a medical practitioner or a physiotherapist.
A lot of runners do not add strength to their training programme. It does make sense to add some strength to your weekly route as it decreases the load on your joints, muscles and tendons. These factors limit the risk of injury. Additionally, properly conditioned muscles recover faster; the chance of injury decreases and runners will lower the chances of stress fractures.
The medical science world has also confirmed that your running speed, efficiency and endurance largely benefit from including strength training. It is not only limited to your lower body. Working your upper body, including your core, provides support towards your form.
Concluding: the best way to avoid injury is a combination of factors. You want to ensure you work towards a strong and resilient body by incorporating strength. Adaptation and training smart to ensure you can crank out those kilometres week in and week out.
Mostly, patience is a virtue and by exposing your body to new stimuli, you are building a better and more injury-free environment for your body in the long run.