DO YOU RUN? - Remember to do some supplemental training!
Running is the most injury-prone sport, given the ratio of people who choose this sport to the number of people who complain of pain problems. Strength and motor deficiencies, tense and contracted muscles, and lack of proper range of motion in the joints are just some of the possible causes of runner injuries. When we say runners, we don't just mean professional athletes, but any person who engages in this activity. Inadequate movement patterns and body restrictions related to sedentary work cause the spine, muscles and joints to suffer while sitting - during running the loads are much greater, which is why it is so important to know that it is worth preparing for running and pay attention to several important aspects.
Running has many health benefits and is very rewarding, but just like anything, running has to be learned. We learn the game of tennis, rowing technique or weightlifting and we don't enter competitions after a few weeks of training. Approaching running in a similar way we can avoid unnecessary injuries and tedious return to fitness. At the beginning of our adventure with running we should start with walks, marches or short runs with breaks for walking. It is worth to increase the volume gradually, constantly monitoring your health and well-being, as well as consulting the occurring pain. Apart from the running itself, you should not forget about the warm-up, stretching and, of course, regeneration.
MOBILITY AND STABILITY
Without mobility there is no stability - and vice versa. These two qualities are related to each other and so, if the muscle is tight and shortened - it will not be able to fully stabilize the joint. In turn, the lack of stability, that is, the lack of proper muscle activation can lead to its shortening or lengthening, and, as a result, weakening. Our muscles are responsible for the stabilization of individual joints. For this reason, every runner should make friends with functional training - not only to improve their performance, but above all to avoid injuries. In the prevention of injuries, it is very important to work at the root, so to know your weak points and work on them. Running technique can be affected by lack of mobility or hypermobility of certain joints, as well as weak stabilizing muscles. To illustrate this better, imagine a runner who has very good mobility and flexibility, on the other hand, weak core muscles and inactive gluteal muscles. The inactivity of these parts is often also associated with excessive tension of the hip flexor muscles, which in turn leads to an anterior tilt of the pelvis. As a consequence, the position of the pelvis may force an incorrect running technique, increasing the risk of injuries in the knee, hip and lumbar regions. In this case, it is recommended to work on stretching the hip flexor muscles, activating the gluteus maximus and core muscles to reduce pelvic anteversion, and finally, to use appropriate exercises to improve running technique.
Every runner, amateur or professional, should include functional and strength exercises in their training. This will allow you to prepare the body for the loads that it takes while running, and also allow you to avoid injuries associated with overloading and lack of strength, mobility and stability. Many people ask themselves: is there an ideal running technique? The short answer is that working on the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system and adapting the running technique to your own body seems to be the golden mean. The training of a runner should take into account both the work on the dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system, that is, on reducing muscle tension, achieving an optimal range of motion in the joints, as well as work on the muscular balance in the body.
It is worth knowing which movement restrictions make the running training less effective and less injurious. A good way to check your running technique is to make a video recording, which will allow you to analyze the whole process from the moment of tearing the foot off the ground, through the flight phase, to the landing. Such services are available, among others, in physiotherapy offices and offer comprehensive care including running analysis, diagnosis and suggestions for appropriate exercises and physiotherapist care.
OFFICE WORK AND RUNNING ADVENTURE
People who spend a lot of time sitting often have problems with correct posture, and this is often due to inadequate ergonomics at work. Physical activity is becoming more and more popular, and running for many people seems to be the ideal activity to "get fit". Yes, running will be a good idea, but first you should think about restoring proper posture and movement patterns, as running alone will not improve them. Fixing improper movement patterns by running can prove to be an easy path to injury. After a few hours spent in a sitting position, the body is not prepared for a strong running workout, so it is worth spending time at work on active breaks including mobilization and strengthening exercises. When doing office work it is worth escaping from the sitting position as often as possible.
If you need advice and an expert assessment of your body for running, check out our Run Fitting project!