Reaching New Years Running Goals Without Getting Injured
Another new year has rolled around, you’ve set those all important running goals for the year and it's time to put in the hard work. However, whether it’s hitting that Park Run PB or targetting a specific running event your risk for injury is at its highest within the first four weeks of increasing your training load. This will generally occur if the amount of increased load placed upon the body exceeds the ability of the tissue to handle the new stress, thus placing them at risk of failing under load and resulting in injury. The majority of injuries we see occur within the first 4 weeks of a return to running and therefore if you can get through this period unscathed you have a much greater chance of avoiding injury all together!
Here are a number of ways in which you can reduce the risk of injury during this initial running phase:
- Prepare a running program, get a running coach or follow a reputable one from online. This may be the Couch to 5k (C25K) app, online coaching sites such as Training Peaks, a local running coach or by starting yourself by simply conservatively increasing your miles.
- Include strength training at least twice a week as part of your program. Strength training helps to build tissue capacity (ability to withstand repetitive force) and neural connections to improve performance. This doesn't mean going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. But it does mean working on your weaknesses, for example, doing calf raises to improve calf strength and endurance or working on core strength to improve running posture. Our suggestion is to seek out a good health practitioner to establish what areas you need to work on.
- Make sure the footwear you are wearing is appropriate for the distance you are running, the type of running you're doing, the surface you are running on and the capacity of your body to deal with the load. Again it is worth seeking a sports podiatrist out to help select the right shoe for you.
- Set your SMART goal and then break down how you plan to achieve that SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely and it relates to how you set your goals up. For example: I will achieve a PB at Park Run of less than 25:03:01 on the 1stJuly 2019. This helps ensures you set a personal goal that you can work towards to enable you to design a specific program to help achieve it. Remember to always reassess your SMART goal throughout the year!
Developing a program which fits your lifestyle or your lifestyle can be adjusted around is also important and makes the goal more attainable. Getting niggles attended to early will ensure you can reduce the amount of time completing rehabilitation or better yet catching a potentially serious injury earlier before it impacts your training regime. Above all, enjoy running and let us help you continue to enjoy it without letting injury getting in the way of your next PB!
Visit Melbourne Podiatry Clinic for a comprehensive assessment and treatment from one of our experienced Podiatrists. Located in Essendon and Blackburn and servicing surrounds including Moonee Ponds and Strathmore. Online Booking Available!
by Jackson McCosker (Sports Podiatrist)