06 Jan Get back into running this spring
Winter is on its way out and spring is bursting all around, so it’s the perfect time to return to exercise in the great outdoors. For many of us, that means digging out the running shoes and taking a turn around the block to blow out the cobwebs and start to get fit for summer.
A word of warning however: a recent survey conducted by the Australian Sports Commission found that 70% of runners sustained injuries from trying to do too much, too soon. In fact, ‘training errors’ – including the footwear, terrain, frequency, distance, speed and duration of the run – were responsible for causing more injuries than actual acute traumas received while running.
Here at My Favourite Physio, we want to help you avoid injury as you get back into running, so we’ve put together a quick checklist to help you on your way.
1. Have your shoes passed their use-by date?
Running in shoes which do not provide adequate cushioning is just not worth it! Before you head out for your run, inspect your shoes for signs of wear and tear, and evaluate whether you think they are providing as much cushioning as when you first bought them. Experts suggest you should change shoes every 1000km, although this figure depends on a lot of different variables, so it’s worth playing safe and upgrading sooner rather than later.
2. Have your shoes been fitted by an expert?
Because everyone’s feet are different, we all need our running shoes to support us in different places. When you buy your new running shoes, it’s worth going to a specialist running shoe shop to make sure you get a pair of shoes which will best suit your foot type. Your physiotherapist can advise you on what brand of shoe will work best for you, and it pays to take your old runners along to the shop so the sales assistant can identify where your shoes wear the most.
3. Do you have problem areas that you need to watch out for?
If you have suffered from running injuries in the past, it’s advisable that you make an appointment with your physiotherapist before you start a running program. Physiotherapist are qualified to undertake an analysis of your gait, a process which will reveal any problems with your running style which may be responsible for future injuries. They can fit you with orthotics to help support your feet and legs appropriately, as well as advising you on how best to take care of your feet.
4. Do you plan to ‘go hard or go home’?
If the answer is yes, then it may be time for you to think again. The best types of running programs are graduated and allow for 24-48 hours recovery time between sessions. It’s essential that you start out slowly, running at a rate where you can sustain a conversation without becoming breathless. You may find it helpful to start out with a combination of walking and running, and gradually build up the amount of time running as you feel yourself becoming fitter. Remember that most running injuries come from doing too much, too soon, so take it easy.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your runners, call us to book an appointment, and get ready to get fit in the great outdoors!