How to beat running injuries with strength training

single-leg-squat-strength-exerciseTo avoid common running injuries you should follow the lyrics of Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!

As a physiotherapist I get to meet lots of runners with common overuse injuries and I believe most of these problems can be overcome with some simple strength and conditioning principles.

If you’re planning on competing in a running event this year such as the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon it’s likely that at some point during your training you will pick up an injury.  Like most people you’ll probably turn to the internet or a running magazine where you’ll find lots of information on the benefits of warming up and stretching but less likely to find any guidance on strength exercises for running.

In a recent study with 26,610 participants by Lauersen et al (2013), looking at the effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries, found that overuse injuries could be almost halved with strength training alone.

With this research in mind I have put together three basic strength and conditioning programmes for you to work on as part of your running training.  Begin with stage one giving yourself roughly four to six weeks or until you feel confident before moving onto the next programme.

3 strengthening moves for runners from Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on Vimeo.

Remember this is just a rough guide to strength training and your ability to perform these exercises will depend on many factors, so if you have an injury or you don’t feel confident then get it checked out!

Sundial offers a free 20 minute physiotherapy consultation to anyone who is unsure about an injury so please get in touch if you need any further advice.

Sundial’s Physiotherapist

VBHM logoSundial is a partner for the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon on 26th Feb 2017  providing clinical care and advice for sports injuries for the runners. If you have any niggles then give us a call and our physio’s, chiropractors and massage therapists can see you quickly. Running the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon? Call for a free Runners MOT

5 Top Tips To Avoid Injury When Training

If you want the best advice about how to avoid injury when you are training then ask an expert. In this guest post, Lucy Howlett of LIFT Personal Training, Brighton, gives some great tips to stay fit and active without pain.

Warm Up Safely
Warming up is vital to keeping the body flexible and adaptable for what we require it to do. Before you run, jump (or fly!) ensure that you spend 5-10 minutes warming up and mobilizing all the joints. You can do this with things like leg swings (forwards and sideways), arms swings, twisting the torso from left to right, shoulder rolls and gently turning the head from left to right to look over each shoulder.

Posture & Technique
Do you know why lifting technique is taught in most workplaces? E.g. bend the legs, back straight and chest up … because technique matters and can be the difference between healthy exercise and injuring your back. So the same applies to when you’re purposefully training, whether with weights or bodyweight exercises. Training with good technique transfers into everyday life, such as having better posture, holding less tension in the body and moving with greater ease.

Core Strength
The importance of having a good level of core strength can sometimes only hit home when you’ve hurt your back or sustained another type injury caused by a lack of core strength. The layers of core musculature are like a corset that protects your internal organs and keeps the rest of your body stable and supported. Learning to recruit these muscles effectively can help you to look slimmer, support your overall posture and reduce back pain. Ask me for more advice on how to improve your core strength and stability.

Leave Your Ego Behind
I know someone who did his back in while training recently and admitted that his ego was the cause of it. Appreciate where you are, know that we all start somewhere and progress is still PROGRESS. With good foundations you can build a skyscraper but not before. The body (and life) is much the same; one must progress in stages. Too early and the supporting structure may fail us.

Stretch Out
After exercise, you will need to stretch out to allow the muscles to return to their normal length. If you don’t, you could possibly land yourself an injury. Without flexibility, your muscles could pull or tear during fast paced, or explosive movements. Yoga is fantastic for realigning the body, correcting imbalances and built up tension, as well as reducing stress.

Lucy Howlett
Mobile: 07879 490373