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Return of Spring, Return to Running ... Without Injury!

Return of Spring, Return to Running ... Without Injury!

For many, spring means the return of outdoor running training. Running is one of the most popular forms of aerobic exercise for weight control and daily stress. This sport is relatively safe and has several health benefits. Although you are excited about the arrival of spring to restart your favorite exercise, do not start too fast! The most common cause of running injuries is an overload of mechanical stress on the tissues.

"Terrible Too's: Too much, too soon, too often, too fast"

The most important risk factor for running injuries is overuse. The principle of overuse is easy to remember: too much volume, too soon, too often, and too fast lead to overuse injuries.

Other risk factors

-History of injury related to running
-Sneakers not adapted to running and your foot
-Lack of muscle flexibility
-Lack of muscle strength
-Run on a surface you are not used to

What to do to avoid injury when starting to run again

1. Plan a gradual return to running
-If you go from indoor training to outdoor training: as the surface is not the same, start doing half of your training indoors then finish your training outside. After several training sessions, gradually move to a training session exclusively outside.

-If you are starting a running workout, start with walking and jogging intervals. Start with 15 minutes outings with a warm up of 5 minutes walk. Gradually, increase the time of your outings, then decrease the walking intervals.

2. Perform muscle stretching exercises at least 1h after your workouts
-Make sure to stretch your glutes, quads and hamstrings at least 1h after your workouts. A decrease in muscle flexibility may increase stress in the muscle and joints, causing muscle or joint injury.

3. Perform some muscle strength exercises at least a few hours before or after your workouts

-Perform 2 sets of 10 squats to strengthen the muscles of your thighs and buttocks. With your feet shoulder width, bend your knees and push your buttocks backwards keeping your trunk straight, as if you want to sit down. Make sure your knees point forward and not inward and make sure your feet do not extend beyond your toes.
-Make 2 sets of 10 flushes to strengthen the muscles of your calves. On a step, climb on the tip of your toes. Put all your weight on one leg, then go down. Repeat the exercise by putting your weight on your other leg.

4. Make sure your shoes are in good condition, fit for running, and properly adjusted to the size and shape of your feet.

** If you are recovering from a lower limb injury or have any questions, you can make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists. **

Véronique is an doing a clinical placement at Physio Max from March to May 2019. She is a student in the Master of Physiotherapy program at Université Laval and will graduate in December 2019. Her main professional interests are cervical pain, concussion and all types of sports injuries. Native of Quebec City, she loves the outdoors and nature that the Chaleur region offers.

References :
PRIBUT, S. M. (2018). A Quick Look at Running Injuries. Podiatry Management, 37(7), 79–86
Images : www.Physiotec.ca