How to avoid the mistakes made by injured runners
Summer's almost here as is the injury season, but Pat Henry has some great tips on staying mobile
With the summer ahead and many clients getting ready and preparing for forth coming races or getting started on their marathon plans for next October, there are probably 20 or 30 events ranging from 5k, 10k, half marathons, full marathons, adventure races and the ultimate 100 mile Connemara Ultra Marathon, which only attracts about 50 hard-core runners, both male and female.
Not for the faint hearted and unless you are super fit and have prepared all year long.
The following are some of the biggest mistakes a runner can make.
1 Not listening to your body when it is signalling to stop. It may be a slight pain in your foot or knee or back. Your body is telling you to be careful and to correct something that may be going wrong. If you fail to listen, more damage will occur that could put you back weeks or months
2 Over loading your body by increasing your mileage too soon. This is where a good coach really pays off. Increasing your mileage by 10pc is the most effective. Taking into consideration the time you spend walking and standing in your increased plan. Keep a proper training log of miles, your diet and how you feel after each run etc.
3 Not getting enough rest, especially for beginners. Day on day off is best. Your body needs time to recover and prepare. If you constantly overload the system it will eventually break down. Even top runners are now understanding the importance of recovery. Beginners get a buzz from running and think more is best. Not so, enjoy your run, get a good sleep then rest and repair to give the body a good chance.
4 Runners tend to stick to running only but now people are seeing the benefits of supplementing their training with weight training using a variety of exercises to strengthen their legs, core, hips and back. Allow yourself a little time to cross train. Many runners are incredibly cardio fit but their muscles are weak with not much tone and inflexible.
5 One very big problem, especially with beginners is using running shoes that don't fit properly or that are worn on one side. Which will put pressure on the hips and the lower back. I would highly recommend getting fitted properly by the experts such as Amphibian King in Bray. Their computer analysis will show the correct gait and get you fitted with the correct shoes for your feet. Also bad and wrong fitting insoles can play havoc with problems such as planter fasciitis or pain behind the big toe and the arches. So spend a little more and get fitted by the experts.
6 Eating too many carbs before you run. Research has shown there is no need to over load by eating too much bread or pasta or even fruit. Just eat a normal healthy diet. The trend is to shove large amounts of carbo-gels as you run. Many triathletes found they had to retire from the event feeling sick from gel over load, too much concentrated sugar. Eat well with good food, plenty of liquids containing minerals and electrolytes which can be added to your water.
7 After each run gently roll your foot on a soft ball or golf ball for a few minutes just to massage your feet. This was recommended to me by the great Eamon Coghlan and it proved invaluable for recovery and prevention of foot pain. It's a simple remedy that works. Foot pain is one of the biggest problems of all and easy to avoid.