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Getting back into running

It is great that you have made the choice to get back into exercise and in particular running but there are some important things to consider.

– Running places large amounts of stress on your joints, muscles and tendons. Due to this increased load, it is important to increase load gradually as it is routinely not one incident or run which will bring you unstuck it is, in fact, a build up effect over a period of time.

– Running will ask particular stabilising muscles especially around the hips to work a lot harder than they have been. If this is the case, these can be overworked and get tight or may fatigue quickly either way; this will result in altered biomechanics leading to potential overuse injury.

– Naturally, the increased load will cause muscle damage which can lead to tightness and again altered biomechanics

– If your joints have not been conditioned appropriately sudden jumps in load can result in joint soreness, this is especially relevant if your muscles are not conditioned to a new activity as they will not be working efficiently to decelerate momentum and protect your joints

Overall I think it is important to use the accessibility to information and training programs to structure your schedule to ensure that it caters your needs and minimises the risk of injury. Some great running applications on the market today take into account your running history, goal and where your current fitness sits. With these semi-generic programs, it is important to stick to them. They do start easy but if you try and do more than advised you run the risk of overtraining and consequently place a ceiling on your progression or even worse the dreaded injury.

Simple maintenance program to prevent injury:

– Foam roller (quads, glutes, ITB, hamstrings, calves)

– Tennis / Lacrosse Ball (glutes, tensor fascia late, hip flexors)

– Stretching program (quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves)
Overall don’t be too eager to progress, rather take your time and always ensure you recover and listen to your body. Recovery is vital but the easiest to disregard as we don’t directly see the correlation of our recovery to performance and running times! So plan for success by planning for recovery.

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