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The Biggest Mistake all Runners Make

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Marathons have never been so popular. They also dominate many a charity calendar, as they prove incredibly effective at fundraising, particularly the big events such as the London and Manchester Marathons. Marathon running has also become a more achievable feat for many. It has become far more common to hear a work colleague stating that he or she has entered a marathon or long distance run. Alongside marathons, obstacle runs are also growing in popularity. Runs such as Tough Mudder involve obstacles and hurdles such as horse jumps or water ditches on the way around a running course. However, entrants to these types of events need to consider is what they need in terms of body capability to be good at their ultimate goal. Whether that’s the obstacle event or the long distance event, each individual needs to take serious account of their particular strengths and weaknesses and address the shortcomings in order to achieve the level of fitness needed to complete their event injury free.

Photo by Steve Gregory

Running is Totally Inherent in Human Nature

We were born and developed to be able to hunt and gather, running great distances to feed and collect water. This is not the case to the majority of us nowadays, and unfortunately although many of us can run, whether we should and whether we do it well is quite a different matter. We are not often taught good running technique or style. Fashion and media advertising also often confuses us with a vast choice of footwear and the current trends. We also tend to ignore niggles for too long, allowing warning signs to become limiters of activity. These can stop us from training, when in actual fact just modifying a few factors would make a vast difference.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

One of the biggest mistakes often made is changing your training style too quickly. For instance, some may run too far and too fast for muscles and tendons to adapt. Human bodies need time to adapt and slow, steady progress is the way forward. We live in a fast paced society with ‘have it now’ attitudes to food, entertainment and communication. This transfers over into our expectations of our bodies and we expect changes far faster than is physiologically possible. I blame a little of this on Premiership Football where we see players back on the field in weeks, but we don’t see the effects of this later in life.

Think of Your Future Self

Let’s start to take some responsibility for our health and wellbeing. Entering the race, putting pen to paper or filling in the online application is the easy bit. Asking friends and colleagues for donations doesn’t take much effort, but completing the 4-6 months of training needed to be able to run a marathon successfully takes commitment and perseverance. Putting in regular park or gym sessions needed to master that pull-up, in order to haul yourself over the final hurdle when the previous obstacles have sapped all of your energy, is hard. Dragging yourself out even on the cold and rainy days to train takes grit. Entering these events, or even just starting these types of training styles should in our eyes, always be applauded and actively encouraged. There are too many reasons to sit and be passive these days, but do it with a thought for your future self. The future self has to recover from shin splints or runner’s knee, and the self that wants to stay happy and healthy into older years. Get advice on where your weaknesses might be early on and work on them.

Are you running a marathon this summer? Do you have any niggles which you need to be addressed? Our team of physios are able to see you at home or work at a time convenient to you. Contact us today on 020 7884 0374 or email