May 10

How to reduce your risk of injury

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Is running a part of your fitness regime?

Running can be an excellent way of keeping fit, clearing your mind and getting some fresh air.

Running can also be hard on the body, especially if you’re running outside, for longer distances or multiple times a week.

Decrease your risk of injury

As you run, the force of about 3 times your body weight is placed through each leg. Having the muscular strength and stability to absorb that force each step will minimize the load through your joints and reduce your risk of pain or injury. Check out our post on How to Treat and Prevent Runners Knee if you experience knee pain from running.

Improve muscle activation

Unfortunately, just because you have the muscles doesn’t mean you’re always using them – sometimes muscles get lazy! Strength training is a great way to improve muscle activation and recruitment. Strengthening muscles in isolation, progressing to multi-joint and running-specific exercise can retrain muscle recruitment patterns and make sure all the right muscles are contributing to your run.

Improve biomechanics and running economy

Biomechanics is a fancy term for how you produce movement.  Strengthening the muscles that support your body in ideal alignment while running can improve your biomechanics and result in more efficient use of energy. In other words, improving your movement patterns means less wasted energy and faster running! Even trained distance runners have shown improvements of up to 8% in running economy following a period of resistance training.

If you’re new to running, here’s a few top tips to get you started:

  • Download an app that will give you a running plan, if you type ‘Couch to 5k’ into the app store you’ll see a large variety of options available, many of which are free.
  • Run with a friend, not only will this make the run more interesting for you while you chat but it makes you both accountable, commit to each other for set times each week and stick to them.
  • Use a tracking app such as Strava or Nike run, these will keep a log of your runs, the routes, the timings, any personal bests you may achieve, helping you easily track your progress.  You can also join challenges within the app to keep you motivated.
  • Invest in good shoes, get your gait checked at a running store to be sure you’re getting the right shaped trainer for your feet.

Click below for some brilliant resources from the NHS for things to consider before you start running: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-tips-for-beginners/

We hope you find this useful!


Tags

fitness, injury, running


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