We often see injured runners in our clinic who are training towards an event or have taken up running after a long break. A weak core, poor running form and inappropriate trainers are factors that usually contribute to these injuries, however, the rate at which the training has been increased can be the biggest cause. By increasing your running distance, duration or speed (and sometimes all three!) too quickly you are not giving your body the opportunity to adapt. This repetitive overload without sufficient adaptation causes the tissue to fail and present an injury.
We have come up with some useful tips on how to progress your training to help you avoid picking up injuries.
No more than a 10% increase per week.
Try not to increase your weekly long run by more than 10 mins.
Don’t be afraid to break your runs into intervals as needed. For example, walk for 30 sec to 1min. Remember this is training and not the competition, you do not want to injure yourself by being stubborn!
For your bigger volume weeks you should make up to 35% of it a less mechanically stressful activity such as swimming, aqua jogging, cycling, and rowing.
Limit increases in intensity to 3% per week.
Vary intensities. i.e Fartlek/interval training
Vary the surfaces you train on as much as possible.
It will be easier to increase training volume on firm irregular surfaces than on the road or a track.
Make sure you are progressive in introducing hills. The intensity rule would apply here.
Strength and Conditioning:
Allow for at least two strength conditioning sessions per week.
These sessions are to improve your core strength, pelvic stability (including glutes), leg strength and flexibility.
Some of these can be achieved with various running drills aimed to improve form.
Spending 10 mins doing some glutes and core activation exercises before going out the door for a run will help you use these muscles effectively when training resulting in better running form.
Ensure your trainers are no more than 500 miles or 2 years old.
Get fitted! Get the correct trainer for you and if you are buying online what you have previously been prescribed please be aware that your requirements may have changed as you’ve gotten fitter and stronger. Although not always cheaper, at least your local run specialist store will exchange them should you need to.
If changing from support to minimalist shoes then progress very slowly and perform daily foot strengthening exercises.