4 Great Injury Prevention Tips for Runners

Many of you enjoying running as an effective way of keeping fit and healthy. However, running exposes you to a number of potential injuries, especially those involving the lower limbs. So to help you stay moving and injury-free, here are 4 Tips from the team at BodyFit Physiotherapy

Injury Tip One – Increase Slowly:
Many people get excited by the start of a new winter sports season. However, they get so impatient at their slow progress that they go from 3 months on the couch to attempting a marathon in 4 weeks. This is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you increase your running and training times by small increments only. A 5 -10% increase in either distance or time each week is plenty, and will more likely keep you pain-free. One of the biggest predictors of injury in runners is rapidly increasing training volume – the more training you do, the greater the risk. It is simple maths.
Injury Tip Two – Check your Shoes:
Many people also get excited about starting a training program. However, they make the mistake of grabbing their favourite pair of Dunlop Volleys (a favourite shoe worn by roof tilers – not marathoners) and then wonder why they get foot, knee and leg pain 2 weeks into their program. Make sure you get a good pair of running shoes BEFORE you start your training program. Unfortunately for your bank balance, you do get what you pay for when it comes to running shoes.
Injury Tips Three – Watch out for Hills:
Many new runners get injuries due to following a route that has too many hills in it. Hill running is a great training tool, but hills also place incredible demands on the joints of the lower body, and can accelerate injury risk in certain people, in particular knee injuries. Try to stay on the flat for the first few months, and then add some hills in as your fitness improves. It is better to be running on the flat than not running at all.
Injury Tip Four – Get a Check-Up
We mentioned a moment ago that one of the biggest predictors of injury is training volume. The other biggest predictor is past injury history. At BodyFit, we’re amazed at the number of previously-injured people who do not have any treatment or assessment before starting their next season’s training . The injury may have left some scar tissue, reduced range of movement, or caused muscle weakness that will greatly increase injury risk once training resumes. If you come to BodyFit physiotherapy in Howick for a check-up, we can assess your risk of any injury reoccurring,  and help you to minimise that risk over the coming season.