Here in the UK, we have been in lockdown for two months and it’s been an adjustment for most of us! From learning how to create a stable routine that’s far from normal, to home-schooling the children and working from home. The allowance of time outside to take exercise has led to an increase in people taking up running, whether it’s to replace the time they would have spent at the gym or just to take up exercise in general. With so many beginners to running, and much more queries on running injuries, we wanted to help provide you a guide. Here’s how to take up running safely or perfect your current running routine to minimise injury and maximise results.
If you’re a complete beginner to running there are a few basics you absolutely need to get right to ensure proper support and care for your body including
- Supportive trainers
- Comfortable running clothes
- A supportive sports bra
- A maps app to plan your route
It’s tempting to want to give running your all from the get-go but it’s important to pace yourself and build your stamina so that you can run safely and avoid injury. Running apps for beginners such as the Couch to 5K app are useful for guidance such as this.
Adequate Warmups and Cool Downs
Your muscles need to stretch both before and after running. The key is to increase blood flow to them and prepare them for exercise to avoid injuries. Active stretching, where you actively work through the muscles in the body to stretch and warm up muscles are great before you do exercise and after, to improve mobility beforehand and reduce tension afterwards. Passive stretching every now and again involves you relaxing whilst an external force (such as a trainer) is applied to stretch the muscles and is good for improving flexibility and performance.
Avoiding Injuries When Running
Based on the most common complaints of runners, there are a few things you can be proactive about to avoid injuries whilst running including:
- Glute-strengthening exercises
- Foam rolling your thighs and calves regularly to reduce soreness and improve range of motion
- Building mileage and intensity slowly to prepare your body and avoid shin pain
- Work on core strength and hip strength with exercises such as forward planks, side planks and leg extensions
- Stretch when you feel tight
Casual running and marathon running are very different and require different training methods. We are actively involved with the London marathon, helping people be in their best shape before and after, and resolving any injuries. With years of experience, our physiotherapists have designed a free marathon training course that you can access here.
With the right method and attention to detail, you’ll be running for longer and further distances than ever before with ease. Running is a fantastic form of exercise to burn fat, build muscles and promote a healthy living, so stay safe with these methods and keep it up!
If you do suffer an injury or would like some advice, don’t hesitate to see our website for information or call us to enquire about physiotherapy or an assessment on 02078840374.