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New Year’s fitness goals

At this time of year the gyms would normally be full of people reaching for the their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately with gyms closed you’re left with Zoom home-work outs and running. Both of which are great alternatives but can also have their problems.

When we reopened after lockdown 1 we saw a huge increase in running injuries as people simply didn’t know how to correctly organise a running schedule to prevent getting injured.  Running is a great activity. It has been shown to lower all-cause mortality and mortality from cancer and heart disease for example, regardless of the dose of running. Simply getting out and going for a run is good for your physical and mental health, which is currently very important.

However, at Wandsworth Physiotherapy runners are perhaps the biggest patient group that we see. There are 6 very common running injuries we see, and if you have read any of my blogs or emails before, you’ll probably already know these include

  • Patello-femoral pain, or pain around the kneecap
  • IT band syndrome, or pain on the outer side of the knee
  • Achilles tendon pain
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis, or heel pain
  • Hamstring tendon pain

To prevent getting one of these running injuries there are two simple things you can do:

1. Follow a periodised running programme
2. Screen your movement, flexibility and strength to identify areas where you might develop an injury and follow an injury prevention plan…

Periodise your running

If you are new to running, it’s not the best idea to start running 5k five times a week. Your body will not be conditioned to this and will eventually break down. Following something like a couch to 5k programme or even using some simple periodisation principles will be of huge benefit. This might include:

  • Start with a run tolerance test – a 15-20 minute jog to see how your body feels, and use this as a base from which to progress.
  • Start with only running two to three times a week. Even some of the elite Olympic level marathon runners I have worked with in the past might only run four times a week at certain parts of their training cycle. Most of you reading this aren’t going to the Olympics!
  • When you progress your running start with small increments of roughly 10% per week and review the 24-hour response after each run. If you are not particularly sore then this is fine, if you are a bit sore in the muscles, tendons and joints then do not progress your distance any further until that feeling has subsided.
  • As you try to progress your running increase the intensity before increasing the volume. NEVER increase both together.
  • As you progress always leave at least one rest day between runs, perhaps cycle, do Pilates or stretch on the non-run days to begin with. Then as your body adapts and you become fitter don’t run more than two consecutive days without then having a rest day.
  • Periodise recovery weeks in to your plan. When I worked in football and did the strength training programmes for the players, every 4th week was a recovery week with a drop in training volume (how much they did) by 40%, keeping the intensity (how hard they trained) the same.

Just these simple tips will help preserve your knees and lower back.

Movement, flexibility and strength screening

This is something we can help you with. Our Run Fit assessment looks at your foot posture and ankle, knee, hip and core strength and flexibility as well as talking through your running technique. With this information we can design you a bespoke plan of treatment that you might need for existing issues or designing you a home exercise programme to make sure you don’t pick up unnecessary running injuries.

As a special offer for you we can book you in for a Run Fit screening appointment and also bolt on your first therapy session (such as a sports massage) for a discounted price. This would be an hour (30 mins Run Fit screening + 30 mins treatment) for £85 instead of £105.

Simply click here to book – go to the Running Injury Clinic drop down menu and you’ll see “Run Fit + Treatment”. This is a time limited offer until the 28th February 2021 and we still have limited space due to social distancing and infection control measures that are in place, so book now to avoid missing out…

We remain open and operating within Government and professional body guidelines on hygiene and infection control to maintain your safety whilst on our premises.

About Wandsworth Physiotherapy

infoAt Wandsworth Physiotherapy and Osteopathy we are focused on getting you out of pain and back to what you love doing. Whether it's playing with your kids or simply being able to sit on the train comfortably; whether it's being able to get back into the gym class or to run 5k again; whether it's to banish the Tena Lady or being able to lift your child without pain our expert physiotherapists and osteopaths are here to help.