Are you ready to run?... 7 quick tips.
It is great to see over the last year the amount of people out walking and running. If one thing these lockdowns have shown us, running and walking really helps clear the mind. This is not a new phenomenon but it has been steadily increasing all of last year, no matter the time of the year.
Usually in January I see a surge in running and running injuries. Most that get injured just believe they are not “a runner” and that their body “isn’t able for it” but this isn't true. The way I look at it, some people survive the couch to 5k and some people don’t. Usually if you get 2 -3 months of running injury free you are hooked and that’s what I want to see. Unfortunately, a lot of people break down early, give up early and go again the following year, to just break down again. Think of this process as a leak in your house, imagine you see a patch forming on your ceiling and you rip everything up to try and find where it is emanating from. You eventually find it, hide it, plaster the walls around it and wait for it to form again. This process occurs every year with runners, remember you are putting your body under pressure and it will show you where it has leaks in the system, it will show you what is going to get injured. Do not run away from these leaks, fix them, find out why they have happened, resolve them and get over the injury and move forward. Think of this as a positive, you are finding the leaks in your system. Below are some tips that might stop the leaks from happening.
Number 1: Stretch your calf muscles four times as much than every other muscle, Especially your hamstring!
I know what you're about to say “but my hamstring is tight...what do i do?” Simple I want you to stretch the calf four times as much. Why? Because the injuries that happen to runners, who run in straight lines is predominantly below the knee.
Number 2: Stretch your upper back four times more than your lower back.
Your upper back is where your ribcage is. Your ribcage has to turn right and left when you walk and run. This turning right and left is what creates momentum and flow. Yes, the runners that do this are the runners that land softly and don’t make a sound when the foot hits the pavement. They have the ability to turn their rib cage because they have a flexible upper back. Not only is this a plus for your movement but also a plus for getting your lungs fully expanded. These Covid times have shown us people lying face down trying to get air into their upper back. With elite runners, they will have a slight rounding of their upper back, this allows them to fully fill the lungs and also turn. With amateurs the upper back will be flat, won’t turn and will gasp for air.
Number 3: Strength trains your quad muscle.
When you have strong quad muscles you will have soft calf muscles. Simple
Number 4: Arm strength is just as important as leg strength.
Can you run a 10k but can’t do a push up? I guarantee you if you start from now and are able to do 20 proper push ups, you will improve your 10k time. The question is, do you know how to do a proper push up? Most don’t. How this works: it improves your arm strength, you will improve how much the ribcage can turn and improve the flow!
Number 5: Get a running screening, not the stupid camera on treadmil one!
This involves an assessment from a chartered physiotherapist, a foot scan and a movement scan. If I wanted to screen someones running mechanics I would ask for a slow mo video of them running where they usually run. Running on a treadmill is very different from running on the road.
Number 6: The runners might be the problem or they might not be the problem
It’s a simple solution, get a new pair of running shoes, run great for 3 weeks and then break down again. Read a review of a new pair of running shoes, buy them, run for 2 months then breakdown. Again you are not fixing the leaks in the system, you need to work on the body and also get the right running shoes. Jody ready2run can help with that.
Number 7: Plan and you will succeed.
If you really enjoy running and want to keep it up, I would recommend getting a coach. I have worked with a lot of runners over the years who enjoy the freedom and isolation of it. The problem is this can also lead to overtraining when you are feeling good and undertraining when you are feeling bad. This yo yo training effect is not good for the body, inconsistencies cause leaks. You need to be led by an expert and we are lucky that we have coaches like Damien Lawlor, who is doing great work with athletes all over the midlands. Look him up!
This will help.