Running is a skill most of us can do, but like most things running efficiently is very difficult. Everyone has a unique way of running due to their body composition, posture, strength, age and sex.
Things you can do to help avoid injury
Stretching: This should be a part of everyone’s day.Some commonly missed muscles to stretch are the Soleus and Tibialis Posterior (deep calf muscles), Piriformis (deep gluteal) and Iliotibial-band (IT).
Keep a training diary: Jot down some notes each day about your run: what time, how long, how hard and how you felt before during and after. This gives you a record of progression or can show you when you started having a problems. Taking your heart rate in the morning as you wake up is also a good measure of improving fitness (it should gets lower with training). If your resting HR is increases, it could be a sign of over training. Keeping written records will help you with that.
Ice: Commonly used in injury management, ice is a cheap and effective way of minimising inflammation and aiding recovery for the next day’s training. Place ice ) in a plastic bag and apply to different areas for up to 10 minutes.
Footwear: The recent trend of “barefoot running” has both fans and critics in the healthcare world. If you consider yourself to be anywhere near “overweight” or a novice runner, stick to traditional running shows . A good running shoe gives a mixture of cushioning and support. Any shoe that can twist easily in your hands will more or lessbuckle with body weight and the stress is transferred directly to the foot/ankle/knee and hip.
Technique: If you run on a treadmill, unplug your iPod for 1 minute and listen to how loud or heavy your footsteps are. It is no coincidence that the louder foot is going to be the one getting the problems. Louder means more impact and eventually pain. Try to float along the surface and minimise how high your stride takes you.
Massage: A little pampering for some, aiding recovery for others. Apart from the obvious benefits of loosening tight muscles, it helps you become more aware of “hot-spots” which require more attention when stretching. We also highly recommend foam rolling.