By Chris Shannon
The summer running season is well under way and numerous marathons, half marathons, and assorted events are happening up and down the country, not least of which the well supported Huntingdon 10k Fathers day event. Of course along with the increased of running comes the deluge of running associated injuries and problems. Perhaps the best way to deal with injuries is to do our very best to avoid them, so I have detailed a number of tips to help you on your way to a safe and healthy running season.
- Wear good quality running shoes and appropriate equipment. Those old trainers should be in the bin! but make sure any new running shoes are appropriate for the event and are run in prior to any race/event. Alongside this, well fitting and comfortable clothing suitable for the weather on the day, the body uses energy to keep warm!
- Preparation is crucial, give yourself plenty of time to build up to your event distance (in those new running shoes!) slowly increasing over the weeks building up to race distance over time. Consider working on the core and upper body strength to support your running posture and form.
- Maintain a good level of hydration prior to and during the event, and don’t forget to replenish after a run. There is a vast amount of information on hydration out there but let’s keep things simple, drink plenty of water a day or so before the race, don’t overdo fluid intake on the day of the race, this will only stimulate unwanted pit stops!! Using sports drinks or similar has been shown to improve performance so if you are used to drinking them that’s fine but don’t start on the day of the event, your body may not like it!
- A good warm up prepares the body for what is to come, start each training session with a slow jog, or even a brisk walk, before slowly increasing to your normal running pace, warm up ideally over 10-15 mins and then you should be ready for your training run or race. Cooling down is equally important, slowing down over 5 mins or so allows heart rate and blood pressure steadily to return to normal.
- Stretching may help maintain the health of soft tissues such as muscles and tendons, stretching should always be done when tissues are warm, so at the end of your warm up or at the end of your training run/race.
- Minor injuries such as sprains and strains can be managed using the PRICE principles detailed below; this can be done easily and safely at home. Early treatment (in the first 24-48 hours) offers the best results but if signs and symptoms remain seek advice from a health professional experienced in managing sports injuries. If injuries are more severe then seek appropriate advice sooner rather than later.
Protect from further harm:
Rest – and gradually introduce pain free movements as soon as possible
Ice – frozen peas are often used but place them in a wet towel to prevent skin burns and leave in place for 10-15 mins
Compression – use a bandage to support and compress the area to help reduce swelling
Elevation – raise affected limb above the heart to help reduce swelling
Whatever else you do ENJOY your day!!