Run Like Mo Farah! (With a Little Help from your Physio)

Training for a running event, does not just mean just running. Of course you want to build up your distance and speed but you need to ensure that you do this by following a structured programme, which should include:

Distance runs:  increase your distance week by week. There are lots of apps and guides in running magazines.

Interval training or high intensity interval training (HIIT) is running at intervals, at varying intensity. For instance, running at high speed for around 10-60 seconds long and then resting for a period lasting one to four times the length of effort.  This really helps to build up your stamina by using your muscles in different ways. Research has shown that training this way increases cardio vascular fitness, your muscles also get more oxygen rich blood and your body becomes more efficient.

Resistance training: this can be using the machines at the gym or if you’re not a member of a gym doing exercises at home such as lunges, squats, single leg squats, heel raises, and single heel raises.

Core stability: This is very important in running. When running you often just have one foot on the floor or sometimes none! Therefore, good core stability is paramount.  You can develop your core stability by doing the following exercises:

Clams.  Lay on one side, with your legs on top of each other, bend your knees 90 degrees, keep your feet together and lift up your top knee and thigh feeling contraction in the side of your buttock.

The Bridge: laying on your back with feet shoulder width apart, lift up your bottom and push through your heels, feeling a contraction in your bottom muscles.

The Plank: Rest your body on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor.  Start off with your lower body weight on your knees or if feeling strong on your toes.

Balance exercises will also help with your core and general balance for instance standing on one foot with your eyes closed, or using a wobble board or BOSU balls at the gym.

Flexibility: After running (or any type of exercise) it’s essential that you stretch.  Your muscles and body will thank you afterwards and it can prevent injuries.  You should stretch to the point of resistance and slight discomfort and breathe deeply and regularly throughout. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and don’t bounce or push too hard. Always stretch when the muscle is warm as stretching cold muscles may cause injury.

A great way to increase flexibility is to have a sports massage.  At Physiocomestoyou, our therapists can  come to your office or work to save you time in your busy work schedule.  Another great tool is a foam roller, which are great for ironing out tension and knots after those long runs.  Doing other activities that you enjoy such as dance classes or swimming will also help your agility, strength and stamina. Do not ignore any aches and pains as sometimes these small niggles can turn into something bigger, so get them checked out by a physiotherapist. These aches and pains may be an indication that you’re not using your muscles in the correct way.

Ensure that you have good supportive trainers. It’s always a good idea to buy some trainers from a running shop and get some advice from a running shoe specialist. They’ll be able to assess whether you roll your ankle in or out and advise on the correct supportive trainers for you.

Have you signed up to complete a marathon or have you just started running?  Our specialist physios are able to see you at home or work and can provide a full assessment and exercise plan.  Contact us today on 0207 884 0374 or email info@physiocomestoyou.com.

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