With gyms now in lockdown and people staying indoors for the majority of the day, running will be an obvious activity to choose. It is important to understand that running is a load-based activity that lends itself to over-training and over-use injuries. With months of uncertainty ahead the last thing you want is pain and injury that stops you from getting out in the fresh air, so Mitch has put together a list of his top 5 things to consider when returning to running or starting to run.
- Capacity vs load – When starting back at running you must consider your tissues’ ability to tolerate the activity and not focus on your heart rate and the cardiovascular aspect of running. This will come in due time when your tissue gets robust enough that it will exceed your aerobic fitness! A common error is running on consecutive days, running every second day will allow the body to adapt.
- Start with a walk-run program – This will allow you to build your distance in a controllable manner. It will also allow for improved running technique as fatigue is reduced with constant periods of active recovery.
- Run slowly – Common error is too much intensity too often. The first aspect of running is to build up the KM’s not to run fast. An easy way to achieve this is using conversational pace, if you can’t hold a conversation you need to slow down. With social distancing, singing to your favourite song is also a great way to measure.
- Weekly load – The best way to build your KM’s is to look at week by week not run by run. Then using the weekly distance you can plan the following week and progress in a sensible way that will keep you running, use the fig.1. below to help.
- Cadence – this is the amount of steps you take per minute when you are running. Cadence is a great way to reduce injury risk as peak loads through hips, knees and ankles are reduced. A 10% increase in your cadence has shown to be an effective measure to reduce injury risk.
|Total weekly distance||0 to 10km||10 to 20km||>20km|
|Advised weekly increase of KM||30%||20%||10%|