Today’s guest post is from Lisa of Lisa Loves To Run. Lisa left the corporate world to pursue studies and a career in sport, health and fitness. She is about to graduate this year in Sport Therapy FDSc. Her real passion lies in injury rehab and conditioning. She’s also a Level 7 football referee (and tells me that, yes, that does include refereeing 22 men during senior matches!) With many of you training for spring marathons and the upcoming triathlon season, I asked her to write about injury prevention.
Over to Lisa.
Running is like hand writing; we all have our own style. Having said that, as a runner myself, a couple of things do stand out as linking us all: the thought of getting injured and the effect it would have on us.
Whether you’re running for the first time or an old hand, you need to take several factors into account. Here’s my advice.
Common running injuries affect the knee area. The balance of muscle strength between the quadriceps and hamstrings is crucial to injury prevention, as these two groups go some way to supporting the knee.
That old saying “prevention is better than the cure” is one that I truly believe in. This is why a training plan will help prevent injury.
How? A training plan will take into account your training season and goals you may have and break them down into smaller, manageable chunks. Additionally, it will help you to consider the type of training you should undertake: the intensity rate, the duration and rest periods. Not only that, it’s such a simple tool!
A training plan can be quick and easy to put together, so use your diary, kitchen calendar, iPhone or anything you fancy so you can remember and keep track of your performance. The objective is to write down a structured plan that will enable the goal to be met.
As we already know running uses the legs, but how much thought do you give to your core?
Not only should your training plan include cardio work to either improve distance or speed, it should also include some core work. This will help decrease lower back injuries, running posture, alignment and balance.
Rest and recovery are crucial to any type of training plan. There are in fact two types of recovery: Passive Recovery and Active Recovery. Passive is as straightforward as just taking the day off. Active, however is simply exercising but doing something a little different, like working on those hamstrings with a Swiss ball, strengthening the quads by performing some sets of lunges, swimming or a class at the local gym. Studies have shown that the latter will accelerate recovery more than passive.
Active recovery, adequate rest and core strengthening, all pencilled into a wider training plan which will give you an overview of your race season. Putting a plan like this together is easy, yet so effective, and is a great injury prevention and performance enhancing tool.
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing some of the expertise you’ve gained from your studies. I know I’m guilty of not stretching enough and, although I always like the sound of active recovery, I never seem to have the energy. Perhaps your post will give me a nudge in the right direction!