As the weather gets nicer and the days longer, more and more people are getting outside and being active. Now more than ever, people are taking up running as pools and gyms remain closed. If you are looking at getting back into running, bumping up your training, or returning to sports here are top tips from Rachel Allen, chartered physiotherapist at Mid West Physiotherapy.
Strength training is your friend! Not only can strength training help reduce your risk of injury, it can make you faster and stronger! (See references 1-3 below.) All runners should do some form of strengthening 2-3 times throughout the week in addition to their running. Rachel has created this free download which has 7 essential exercises to keep you running happy and healthy: click here to download Rachel’s injury prevention programme for new runners.
Build up slowly. If you are new to running, following plans like a “Couch to 5k” can help you build up gradually. If you are training for a longer race or already quite active, longer training plans can help. Make sure to include rest days.
Find good resources. There’s a lot of information out there, so we have compiled some of the best for you – starting with our own exercise plan above! Rachel also recommends:
Limerick Sports Partnership run many programmes and events for all ages and abilities.
Hal Higdon for longer training plans.
For running gurus, Tom Goom is worth checking out.
Prevention trumps treatment. Check in with a chartered physiotherapist if you are starting to have any aches or pains. While it is normal to feel muscle soreness after starting a new activity or increasing your training, you want to get on top of any injury or pain. Very rarely does ignoring a problem help solve it! We are experts at identifying where aches and pains or injuries are coming from; creating a personalised treatment plan to resolve them; and giving you tools to not only get better, but stay better too!
Enjoy it! Find a routine that works for you. Train with a virtual or socially distanced buddy. Set a goal of a virtual run – most marathons have 10k or half marathon options too. Check out the Great Limerick Run on the May Bank Holiday, Waterford Viking Marathon at the end of June, or the Dublin Marathon in October.
If you would like any help or advice from a physiotherapist to help you with your running, our team at Mid West Physiotherapy would be delighted to help you.
1. Blagrove RC, Howatson G, Hayes PR. Effects of Strength Training on the Physiological Determinants of Middle- and Long-Distance Running Performance: A Systematic Review. Sports Med. 2018;48(5):1117-1149. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0835-7
2. Berryman, N., Mujika, I., Arvisais, D., Roubeix, M., Binet, C., & Bosquet, L. (2018). Strength Training for Middle- and Long-Distance Performance: A Meta-Analysis, International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 13(1), 57-64
3. Damasceno, M.V., Lima-Silva, A.E., Pasqua, L.A. et al. Effects of resistance training on neuromuscular characteristics and pacing during 10-km running time trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 115, 1513–1522 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-015-3130-z