New running aches and pains and can’t see your Osteopath? Or just looking for some tips? Then read on below!
What can you do?
- Walk before you run (literally!). If you are someone who used to do very few steps daily (less than 5000 steps per day for example), it would be sensible for you to gradually increase your walking before starting to run. This may take some time to build up to, so be patient.
- If you are new to running, you could try following the NHS couch to 5K programme
- Warm-up before a run. Dynamic warm-ups, which mimic the exercise you are about to perform, are best; try walking or jogging before increasing your pace into your run.
- Stretch post run. Try to target these major muscle groups: calfs (with knee straight and knee bent), hamstrings (with knee straight and knee bent), quads, glutes, and hip flexors. Speak to one of our Osteopaths if you are unsure what stretches are right for you.
- Rehydrate and refuel post run. This is important for recovery. Think avocado (fat) on toast (carb) with a hardboiled egg (protein), or yoghurt (protein) and granola (carb) with peanut butter (fat).
- Rest! It is important to give your body rest days to aid recovery and ultimately improve performance.
General running advice?
- Try running on different terrains; running on grass vs concrete for example will put different forces through your limbs and activate different muscles. Equally running hills vs flats will test your body differently.
- Think about modifying your cadence (number of steps/minute) and stride length. Over-striding is a common pre-cursor to injury, especially lower back pain.
- Getting a stitch or tiring quickly? Try slowing your pace and focusing on diaphragmatic breathing.
- Having a gait test performed in store (when possible) can help with finding the best running shoes for you.
Common running injuries
- Plantar fasciitis (typically pain in the arch/heel/ball of the foot)
- Achilles pain/tendonitis
- Shin splints
- Runners knee (pain around the kneecap)
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome (pain on the outside of the knee)
- Hamstring strains
Managing an injury?
- Roll your plantar fascia with a ball (golf/tennis/dog ball). Try for 1minute, twice per day. This should feel like a deep massage. You could also do this with a bottle of frozen water.
- Stretch your calf – make sure you get into the deeper Soleus muscle by bending the knee slightly for part of the stretch. This is particularly important if managing pain in your plantar fascia or achilles. Aim to hold stretches for 45seconds.
- Apply ice, wrapped in a towel, for 10mins. This could be to your achilles, shins, or knee, depending on where you are feeling sore. Try to do this immediately after exercise, and once again later in the day.
- Use a foam roller to increase blood flow to the muscles and loosen tight connective tissues.
- Strengthen the Quadriceps to improve knee stability. Please ask your Osteopath for advice.
- Never run through pain. This will only set-back your recovery in the long run.
Everyone is different and stretches/exercises that work for some may not for others. If you experience any pain whilst performing any of the advice above, please stop immediately.
Need further advice?
Book in for a Virtual Video Appointment with one of The Richards Centre team.
Read our blog on making the most of your one hour of exercise during lockdown for more information.
For more info and advice, join us over on our Facebook Page!