The Blitz run’s very own strength and conditioning coach talks about common injury problems and their resolutions.
Nathaniel says “I pride myself in building athletes that constantly progress towards their goals. I take on people that have never exercised and get them to their first race, I take top level athletes to compete against the best in the country and I bring people back through injury to perform better and stronger than before. The all important rules for sport are time/patience and work ethic. If you let us here at Blitz, coach you through the basics of injury prevention, programme writing, and nutritional advice you will become a rounded athlete that will perform to a higher standard and achieve more goals than you ever could have imagined. Below are a few common things I find people coming across in the running world:”
Stretching too much?
The Mistake: It is important to know that stretching deeply before a run can do more harm than good. It takes a good 20-30 minutes to properly warm up so if you are firing off all of your golgi tendon organs that don’t want to be stretched too much whilst cold you will only end up hurting yourself. Save the dynamic deep stretches for after the run is completed and you will find you will be less stiff for the start of the next run.
The Blitz fix: Warm up with a moderate walk for 3-5 minutes. Depending on your level you can vary this. For example if your fitness has a ratio of 3:1 run:walk then ease into this after the 5 minutes moderate walk. If you can run constantly for more than 30 minutes without stopping then ease into a slow run for 5 minutes then consider taking it up to your normal pace for the duration.
Jumping in at the deep end.
The Mistake: So the first week feels great? Keep going at the same pace and you will quickly find you will burn yourself out. Your body is full of energy when you start a new activity. You’ve probable gone out to buy new shoes and want to give them a good run in. Too much too soon can lead to common injuries such as shin splints, plantar fascitis, overall fatigue and burnout. Remember the Hare and the Tortoise? Read on…
The Blitz Fix: The majority of people who will be reading this will have a good level of cardiovascular fitness to start with. As we mentioned above, getting stuck into running and running alone will cause problems. Use running as a side line for 6-8 weeks. You may ride a bike for fitness or go to the gym with a friend. Turn the last 20 minutes of your usual sessions into a 10 minute fast walk and 10 minute steady jog. Gently increase the run and decrease the walk over the 6-8 weeks as you feel your endurance picking up, and hey presto you’re basically a runner! Without a nasty injury I may add!! P.S – Try swimming as a cardio accessory, it’s a brilliant lung builder but without the impact of running.
Speed isn’t always your friend.
The Mistake: You may have heard of overuse injuries? These come from often pushing your body through something that it can’t cope with. Commonly, speed that is too fast for your body may cause an injury!! Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to stop running fast, just use it at a time that is effective for your training. Overuse injuries are nasty and often hard to shift without dedicated time out of training. I’m yet to meet a runner who will not run whilst injured.
The Blitz Fix: Write a plan, train faster days and slower days, run without a watch. These are all things that will create a more solid runner. Not knowing your plan will usually mean you do a short hard run, constantly doing hard runs will fatigue you and always looking at your GPS watch will mean you’re concentrating on a time rather than an effective training routine. Take a step back and look at your long term goals. Whether your goals are to run a marathon in under 3 hours or finish your first 5k, it doesn’t matter – the plan is still the same, it is just tailored to you. Be patient, be consistent and you will get to where you want to be!