With many endurance events coming up, it is important to keep an eye out for OVERUSE injuries!
Evin Scanlon, physiotherapist and strength and conditioning coach at Physiologix, has worked extensively with overuse injuries to the lower limb. He has worked in gathering research to the knee, foot and ankle. Here he gives us 10 top tips to avoiding lower limb injuries as you step up your training.
1. Remember you are exposing your body to increase stresses and strains that it may not be accustomed to. Many runners experience injury in their first 8 weeks by doing too much, too fast, too soon. Increase running volume by no more than 10% every 2 weeks
2. If you are taking up running for the first time, allow 48 hours between runs during the first four weeks. You can do other lower impact exercise on alternate days such as cycling, swimming and strength training.
3. Break up your first few runs into run/walk intervals. For example 1 minute run/1 minute walk for 20-30 minutes.
4. Run with a shorter step and higher cadence. Pick the foot up as you swing the leg through and land with a verticals shin and bent knee joint in the front of the hip.
5. Run tall with an upright posture. As you improve in fitness and strength your running technique will feel easier.
6. Strength Training/Pilates will help your running performance and reduce the risk of injury. Runners need strong hips, trunk muscles and ankles to move well, maintain good posture and prevent injury.
7. Two-three #strength training sessions is recommended per week focusing on whole body ground based exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts and step ups. Good movement and technique must be trained before adding resistance.
8.Make sure you have the appropriate equipment/footwear. Nothing more likely to cause injury/discomfort than this. Find the runner that is most comfortable for you or a brand you trust and have used previously in the past with good results.
9.If you have pain running and you’re unsure about why, STOP! Go see your GP or Physiotherapist, find out why you have a problem and then deal with it. Many running related pains are easily dealt with, but some, if left untreated, can become chronic problems.
10.Finally, enjoy your running! Every session you do doesn’t have to be better than the last one. Schedule easy runs for yourself where you don’t worry about pace and just enjoy a nice easy trot!