When you are out pounding the streets you must contend with the impact stress of each stride.
Most runners take about 800 to 1,000 steps per mile, with an average impact force of three times their body weight per step.
Hitting the ground for example with the side of the foot will make the foot roll, and it will have a big effect on the rest of your body and may cause shin splints and back pain.
Your first line of defence against overuse injuries is the body’s own high-performance shock absorbers – the muscles of the legs and calves. If your muscles are strong then you’ll better the chances of staying healthy and improving performance.
Squats are an effective exercise for strengthening your whole body. The movement requires a co-ordinated action of roughly 40% of your body’s muscle mass. Your thighs, hips, back and calves will all get some work.
I know some runners put doing squats on a par with visiting the dentist. They really are not that bad. If you are new to exercise try a class that will talk you through basic exercises like our Weight Training Class on Monday & Wednesday at 6 pm with Toby Bowen.
You can also book a session with one of our trainers to show you how it is done properly.
Do not ignore the rest of your body, include some core stability and upper body exercises as when you move your arms a little more and your legs will respond accordingly.
If you are wearing shoes you don’t want a ‘Fashion type’ shoe and you do not need a really expensive heavily cushioned shoe either. For some people, a good anti-pronating shoe may correct any running imbalances without the need for an orthotic insert.
Don’t look at the assistant oddly if they suggest that you may benefit from a pair of shoes that are half a size bigger than your normal shoe size. This is because when your feet get hot they will swell.
You can buy minimalists shoes for you barefoot types out there and if you’re used to running in cushioned shoes and were thinking about getting into barefoot running introduce it over a period of time. It may be an idea to work it into your training schedule anyway as it can decrease the force going through your tibia’s by as much as six times and it may help you with your running technique.
Try introducing it once a week to start you off for no longer than 5/10mins on a treadmill or on grass. If there is going to be any risk of an injury it is going to happen during this transition period so as I have said before introduce it gradually.
Try alternating running with other activities as marathon training can take a lot out of you so treat yourself with the respect your body needs. Your diet and rest will be a good start and it is also important to add regular massage therapies into the mix.
Choose an activity that will strengthen your ‘whole’ body and increase the strength your legs offering your joints a little more protection! Take one of our non-impact classes; Spin Circuit / Intervals, for example, Spinning, Weight Training, or a class like Core and Stretch on Tuesday at 10 am and 7 pm which works on core strength and flexibility.
Stretching is an important part of your training as a runner. Muscles are meant to have a limited range.
The reason for this is to protect the joints they serve and going beyond this range may weaken your tendons and ligaments.
So taking a night off jogging or adding one of our classes into your training will give your hips and legs a break from the incessant pounding.
Do not wait till you sustain an injury before you take to the indoors for an alternative to the constant pounding – think longevity! Although you need to run outdoors to improve your skills required for the big day do not run until you drop.
If you do you will increase your risk of injury or just burn yourself out.
When in training for a marathon or any event set yourself a goal; a realistic game plan.
If you head out the door and just run according to how you feel on any given day, what you accomplish will be by accident, not by design, and you may not fulfil your ambitions.