FITNESS WATCH

PERSONAL COACH AT FULL POTENTIAL

INJURY is perceived as a natural by-product of running. And while it’s true that two out of three runners suffer injury each year, with careful planning, many can be avoided. Follow the advice below to tip the odds in your favour.

HAVE THE RIGHT KIT
Kit has advanced hugely in recent years and modern day gear can offer much assistance with comfort and injury prevention. In particular, it’s crucial that you’re in the right trainers – so see a specialist and get the pair with the correct support for you.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
A difficult concept to grasp when you’re keen to improve, but going suddenly from five miles a week to fifty is asking for serious trouble. Layer training on gradually and consistently, never looking to increase your mileage by more than 10 per cent each week. Intersperse hard sessions with days of rest, cross training or easier runs, giving the body time to recover.

STAY LOOSE AND CHILL OUT
Start each run with a gentle jog or walk until you’re nicely warmed up. Fit stretching into your routine as often as possible after exercise and on rest days. Incorporate pilates or yoga if you can to improve flexibility. Immediately after a hard session you might consider imitating Paula Radcliffe and taking an “ice bath” to arrest any internal bleeding.

CONDITION AND CROSS-TRAIN
Running is a high impact sport so try to do some of your miles on softer surfaces such as grass and loose trails. Don’t be afraid to reduce the time spent running and replace it with lower impact cross training like swimming, cycling and aqua jogging. If you can’t get to the gym then try to work on body conditioning by doing squats, single leg squats, sit-ups and press-ups.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Don’t wait until it’s too late – see a physiotherapist when you detect the first warning sign and it’s likely they can mend you quickly and easily. Get a regular sports massage during periods of intensive exercise. If you do get a niggle then revert to a rehabilitation programme of cross training or rest and reintroduce running gradually.

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