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Injury Prevention for Runners

Man lacing up running shoesThe Sydney running season is upon us and shortly our attention will turn to starting to shape up for summer. Many of us are either increasing our training or looking to increase our activity – especially running training – so here are 4 tips from the team at Synergy Healthcare to help you stay moving and keep you injury free:

Injury Tip One – Get a Check-Up

Injuries sustained at the end of your last training or sport season that were not treated may have left some scar tissue, reduced range or muscle weakness. This greatly increase your injury risk. One of the biggest predictors of injury is training volume – the other biggest predictor is past injury history.

Injury Tip Two – Check Your Shoes

Most good running shoes last 600-1000Kms. This is affected by weight, running style, surface etc. Many people get excited about starting a training program however they make the mistake of grabbing their favourite pair of Dunlop Volleys (a favourite shoe worn by roof tilers – not marathoners) and then wonder why they get foot, knee and leg pain 2 weeks into their program. Make sure you get a good pair of running shoes BEFORE you start your training program – unfortunately for your bank balance you do get what you pay for when it comes to running shoes.

Injury Tip Three – Start Slowly & Increase Slowly

One of the biggest predictors of injury in runners is rapidly increasing training volume. The more time that has elapsed since your last training, the slower you have to go. Many people go from 3 months on the lounge to attempting a marathon in 4 weeks – this is a recipe for disaster. A good starting point is half (or less) of your time, distance and speed. Your first 3 sessions should feel easy and comfortable, particularly in the days afterwards. Then increase either distance of time/speed by small increments only – a 5 -10% increase each week is plenty and will ensure you stay pain free.

Injury Tips Four – Watch Out for Hills

Hill running is a great training tool but hills also cause incredible demands on the joints of the lower body and can accelerate injury risk in certain people. As such, new runners sustain injuries due to following a route that has too many hills in it. For the first few months, try and stay on the flat and then add some hills in as your fitness improves – it is better to be running on the flat than not running at all.


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