Hitting the Streets
It is the time of year when hordes of people are dusting off the winter cobwebs and hitting the streets to prepare for spring time fun runs.
So, with research telling us that up to 79% of runners will suffer an injury, some may be forced to question whether all the hard work is worth it.
There comes a point when training for a big event where the training loads can become too much for your body, and it’s at that point where injuries can be more prevalent. Some runners are frustrated because they are unable to do the training loads required before a big event – and with the Yurrebilla trail 56km Ultra event approaching that can equate to a lot of kilometres!
If you were at the Adelaide marathon you may have even noticed the Ambulances dotted along the route attending to people in various states of disrepair. Here at the clinic we are seeing an increasing number of people who have little injuries that turn into bigger injuries simply because of inadequate preparation to be able to handle the training load and force they are placing on their bodies.
Have you ever found yourself at a mental cross-road? On one hand you think, “Do I just give up on the training and turn up on the day for the event? And the other, “Do I keep training and risk not being able to do the event at all?”
You might be like Sally…
…(not her real name), who has been doing great work with her long distance training regularly running 20+km with no issues. When she was asked to join her office Corporate Cup team she did so thinking that a 4km run would be easy in comparison. So easy, in fact, that she could run it a lot faster than usual, and the next week beat her own time by nearly 2 minutes!
While thrilled with the Corporate Cup results, she started getting niggling pain with her long distance training, and perhaps not sticking to her running plan may have been too much for her body to handle.
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The Good News
For Sally, our assessment revealed that while her body was fit for long distance, it was becoming less able to cope with changes in activities or running habits, leaving her exposed to injuries when running shorter, faster distances. However, like Sally, there are some simple things everyone can do to increase capacity before a big event.
Handy Training Tips
Try these tips to improve your body’s ability to handle changes in activity and increases in training load:
- If you have a niggling pain that annoys you on a typical road training run, try breaking up your training sessions with a trail run or grass run (and vice versa).
- Instead of trying to run a long distance in one go, try doing it in 3 runs – you will still get the mileage, and protect your body
- Running drills under the supervision of your podiatrist can help to retrain your body to work more efficiently
- Make sure you have the right shoes well before the event – use a pair of “faithfuls”, but not a pair that’s “Dead”
These easy exercises can help improve your overall capacity:
- Rolling your feet over a tennis ball
- Foam rolling your legs
- Massage and Epsom salt recovery baths for muscle tension
And of course, if you have any concerns that are out of the ordinary, please speak to your podiatrist. Looking after your body through the training period means it will hopefully reward you at the finish line!