Updated: Jan 21
Running is good for you, if it hurts, don’t stop (unless you have a very good reason), instead do one, or several of the following:
Reduce how much your running
Work on your strength
Change your technique
Your body cannot go from 0 - 100 instantly. If you’ve just started running and it hurts, or you’ve started increasing intensity or distance, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong, just that you’re doing something your body isn’t used to.
So start small and build up, you need to work within the limitations of your body. If you’re new to running, start with a few simple run/walks and build up from there. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to increase your distance anymore than 10% a week, that goes for people who are already running and are looking to build their distance too.
This is a message to everyone, you’re probably neglecting your strength work. People who run, often don’t like hitting the gym and so neglect essential work for glutes, hamstrings and quads that will support the stress you’re putting on them. The British Journal of Sports Medicine has just published findings that conclude, including Nordic Hamstring exercises in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries. We have a blog post on strength exercises for runners you can check out here.
On the other hand, if your legs haven’t run in decades, the muscles you’re using are not going to be in tip top shape. Go to a class (as luck would have it we have some perfect classes taking place in Double Bay), work on your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and core. Look at good quality squats, split squats and hamstring curls, again start small, don’t add a lot of weight if you’re just starting out.
A great preventative whether you’re in pain or not, is to get your technique looked at, there may be some quick tips that will help reduce your chance of injury, or a really simple fix to that niggling pain your experiencing. I am not a fan of completely changing someone’s running gait, but a few simple tips and tricks can help improve performance. I don’t believe in big dramatic changes, or altering your style, its small tweaks that will make the biggest difference, and small tweaks are the ones you’re most likely to keep up.
We now have a special offer*, with a one hour massage you can receive a free 15 minute running assessment at our studio in Double Bay ($115, health rebates available). Laura will talk you through how you’re currently running, try out some techniques to find the best way to improve your stride, give you some strength work if needed and then to get everything feeling great, complete with a massage.
This offer has now expired