So many runners and fitness fanatics struggle with injuries and don’t know why or where they come from. Here I’ll give you a few ideas, as well as some preventative measures to ensure you stay in tip-top shape!
First things first, we can get injured doing any activity be it cleaning your house or running a marathon they all put stress on the body. We get injured when the body cannot cope with these stresses . There are three main reasons a muscle will have stress upon it: Muscle tightness, limited muscle strength, immobility of the muscle and intensity/frequency of training.
Muscle tightness is the greatest cause. After any exercise we must warm up the muscles and cool them down and stretch after. If this is not carried out efficiently, then muscles are not able to contract and relax and perform optimally. This meaning they can either be pulled or damaged at the start of exercise OR if one does not warm down enough, then muscle tightness can occur the day after. The best way to think of it is the muscle as a piece of Blu-Tak. When you go to pull it apart cold it just snaps and that’s the effect it can have on your muscle fibres. In contrast, when you’ve been playing with the Blu-Tak in your hands and it’s nice and warm, it’s able to pull apart really long and easily-just like a warm muscle.
Muscle strength is important, even if the muscle is nice and loose. If you lift a weight that your muscle can’t cope with injury can also occur. It is why everyone no matter their sport should have basic strength work incorporated in their training. If a muscle is strong it should be able to bare the load of activity you demand of it!
So a few quick tips:
1. Make sure you have some sort of foam roller to help massage the muscle belly before and after to reduce the chance of tight muscles.
2. Find your weakness. Look what area always gets tight or is weak for you and spend extra time stretching and strengthening it at the end of a session.
3. Make a 5 minute warm up and cool down to complete everyday you exercise and stick to it- consistency is key.
4. A key area all people get tightness with is the calf area. This is due to the loading of pressure and shock on the foot when striking during running. If the calf is tight it will offload the stress onto the shin- commonly known as shin splints pain, or to the achillies tendon and form a tendonopothy. So pay attention to this hotspot area and avoid issues.
5.Lastly if you have had a tough session, after stretching ice up a particularly sore area to help reduce any inflammation present!
Hope this helps! Happy Running 🙂