Top 4 Tips for Avoiding Injuries
1. Train in the best shoes for your foot type and function
We all have a unique pair of feet that function differently to our running buddies,so it’s important that you wear the shoes best suited to your foot type, the surfaces you run on,and the distance you will be running.
There’s no ‘one shoe that fits all’! It can be overwhelming to determine which shoe best suits your needs as a runner with all the information out there. We advise having them sized professionally and fitted to the shape of your foot, as well as ensuring that the needs of your feet are met by the features within the shoe (cushioning, guidance, heel-toe gradient etc).
If you have been happy running in a particular style of shoe, don’t feel you need to change it, just because another runner tells you they are happy with their shoe.
Every time you change or update your shoes, your body will need to adapt to the changes, so gradually wear them in. It is also a good idea to rotate two slightly different running shoes - one for longer, slower runs, and another for interval, higher intensity sessions.
Running shoes generally need to be updated after 600-800km, but this will be less if they are a lighter weight shoe. At your consultation with our Podiatrists, you will be given a list of a few running shoes that best suit your feet.
2. Gradually increase your training loads and intensity
It is important for any tissue (bone, tendon, muscle) in your body to gradually adapt to any increase in training load. This means that to prevent injuries, your tissues need adequate time to increase their capacity to take the load.
Increasing by 10% per week is a good rule to follow, and ensure that you to allow enough time to prepare for the event, so planning your training loads well (increase in distance and intensity) in advance is vital.
Having a graduated running program specific to you, designed by a health professional, that takes into consideration the above time frames, is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t end up injured.
Being strong enough is one of the key injury prevention strategies that we advise in our clinic, and weakness is usually the prime reason people get injured while running. If you’re not strong enough in the legs and gluteals/core before you increase your training load, your tissues will no thave the capacity to cope. An individualised strengthening program that is tailored to your training and goals is best. Our Podiatrists work closely with Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists to ensure your strength program is right for you.
4. Cross Training
This is a great way to give your body a good chance to have a rest from the repetition of running, and allows the tissues time to recover. Swimming & cycling are both excellent ways to cross train. In addition, increasing strength during an individualised gym based program or clinical Pilates program is very effective as cross training, and will assist in your body’s ability to run well without injury.
Follow these tips before embarking on a training program, and you will find it much easier to get to the start line!
At Bayside Sports Podiatry, we can assess your strength, movement, running gait, footwear, and training program. Based on our assessment and gait analysis, we can identify whether changes are necessary, and will liase closely with other health professionals or footwear retailers, if required.