Kate Krzywiec, Chartered Physiotherapist, MSc BSc (Hons) MCSP HCPC 

Running is a fantastic way to stay fit and challenge yourself! 
I’ve been running most of my life but competitively as a masters athlete over the last 12 years. I've seen firsthand how running can be both incredibly rewarding and challenging. It’s a fantastic way to stay fit, clear your mind, and push your limits. However, it also requires a thoughtful approach to body care to avoid injuries. 
If you are starting out or looking to maintain or improve your performance, it’s vitally important to approach running with care, and respect for some basics which will serve your body well. 
There’s in-depth reading on our Sports Injuries page and more about how physiotherapy can help running injuries. 
Here’s my short guide to keeping yourself in peak condition. Happy running! 

Warm-Up: The Key to a Successful Run 

A proper warm-up is crucial. It prepares your muscles, increases your heart rate, and improves circulation. 
Start with a few minutes of light jogging to get your blood flowing. 
Follow this with dynamic stretches such as leg swings, high knees, and butt kicks to activate your muscles and improve flexibility. 

Essential Exercises for Runners 

Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to build strength and stability needed for efficient running, to enhance your running performance and reduce injury risk. 
Focus on: 
Core Exercises: Planks, side planks, oblique twists, dead bugs. 
Leg Power: Squats, lunges, and calf raises. 
Stability: Single-leg deadlifts and balance exercises. 
Injury Prevention: Listen to Your Body 
Injuries often occur when we ignore the signals our bodies send us. 

Tips to Stay Injury-Free 

1. Gradual Progression: Increase your mileage and intensity gradually. The 10% rule—adding no more than 10% to your weekly mileage is a good guideline. 
2. Proper Footwear: Invest in quality running shoes suited to your foot type and running style. Replace them every 300-500 miles. 
3. Cross-Training: Incorporate low-impact activities like cycling, swimming, or Pilates to give your running muscles a break while maintaining fitness. 

Common Injuries and How to Manage Them 

Even with the best precautions, injuries can happen. Here are a few common ones and how to address them: 
Runner’s Knee: Often caused by overuse or poor running form. 
Strengthen your quadriceps and ensure your running technique is sound. 
Shin Splints: Typically due to increasing mileage too quickly or wearing improper footwear. 
Rest, ice, and gradually return to running. 
Achilles Tendinitis: Overuse injury, tight calves, weak calves, poor foot biomechanics is more common as we age and calf strength is important. 
Gradual progression in training load and intensity. Stretch your calves regularly and avoid excessive hill running. 

Post-Run Recovery 

Recovery is as important as the workout itself. After your run: 
Cool Down: Spend 5-10 minutes walking to bring your heart rate down gradually. 
Stretch: Focus on your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and hip flexors. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. 
Hydrate and Fuel: Drink plenty of water and have a snack with carbs and protein to replenish energy stores and aid muscle repair. 

Struggling with Sports Injuries? 

Book an appointment online today. 
For more information or to book an appointment call or email the Breakspeare Clinic 
Tagged as: Injuries, Wellbeing
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