5k, 10k, half marathon, marathons and beyond!
The marathon is one week away and this year I am providing my services again as a physiotherapist at mile 20.5. In one of my previous blogs I wrote about my experience from last year and how wonderful yet challenging it was – and I wasn’t even running! I have never run a marathon myself and believe it requires dedication, motivation and skill. Last year I signed up to one 5k, two 10k runs and a half marathon. After the second 10k run I developed shin splints, a painful inflammation of one of the muscles of the lower leg which meant I could not run for several weeks and felt unable to complete the half marathon, instead opting to marshal for it and cheer on friends and other runners in the process. Injuries and set-backs for any sport can be inevitable; however there are ways to reduce your risks in sport, and reducing risk with running is a good place to start.
1. Prepare – not training sufficiently and then pushing yourself too hard is a sure fire way of risking injury. Plan a schedule of your runs and combine them with sprints, walks, stretch and rest days.
2. Stretch – one of the biggest reasons people see me for physiotherapy for running related injuries I find they are tight in a lot of muscle groups including: calf muscles (gastroc and soleus), quadriceps (thigh) and hamstrings. After a warm-up with a gentle jog or brisk walk ensure you allow yourself time to stretch thoroughly, and then when you have finished your run, stretch again.
3. Choose good shoes – don’t just get the first ones you see, or the ones on special offer. If you are buying running shoes you should ideally have a gait analysis to look at your foot position and running style. This will then advise you what shoe would be best for you and if you would also benefit from insoles. Shoes should be replaced approximately every 500miles of running.
4. Get off the treadmill – using a treadmill is great for training, however if you are planning for a road race you must get out and practice on the road as well. Treadmills have some give unlike solid tarmac, and natural undulations in the road cannot be reproduced very well on a treadmill.
5. If it hurts – stop! Common running injuries include shin splints, sprained ankles, plantar fasciitis, patella (knee cap) pain, ITB tightness, low back pain, neck tightness, hip pain and a host of other conditions! If resting does not help your pains seek advice quickly from a physiotherapist if you are keen to resume your training.
Whether you are running or walking a mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, ultra marathon or anything else – or even thinking of doing one, train well and look after your body. For all those running in this year’s London Marathon on Sunday I wish you all the very best and feel free to drop in and see myself and some of my other physiotherapy colleagues at mile 20.5!
If you have any special or extreme experiences of any sort of run or walks you have done I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at email@example.com
Tags: marathon running injury prevention