There are countless benefits to running but the obvious detrimental effect is injury. The simple fact is that during running you have to support 2.5 times your body weight. If you want to avoid maxing out your health fund, looking like phoebe from friends when running on Coogee beach (episode when she runs in the park with Rachel) and actually finish your Marathon training injury free then read on. The most common injuries in runners are knee cap issues (32.2%), shin splints (17.3%), lower back pain (7%), Achilles tendonitis (7.2%), Plantar Fasciitis (6.7%), Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome i.e runner’s knee (6.3%) and Patella Tendonitis (5.7%).
So what are the Warning Signs that something may be wrong? More often than not I see clients when it’s to late. Two to three weeks before the event looking for a quick fix, with a hope that it will get them through the race. However, if you listen to your body in the early stages you can avoid an injury getting out of hand.
A big help is knowing the difference between delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and inflammation. Typically, if the discomfort dissipates a day or so after the training run, or disappears after 10 minutes’ running, it’s fine to run. Constant pain, which varies in intensity, is suggestive of an inflammatory response. Prolonged morning pain that improves slightly with movement is suggestive of inflammation.
Let’s break down the general signs and symptom’s of the main running injuries:
Plantar Fasciitis- A sharp stab or deep aching underneath your foot, from the heel to the arch. It will hurt a lot first thing in the morning when you walk around, or after you’ve been sitting for a long time.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome- Pain on the outside of the knee or when you bend it at a 45-degree angle, or at the hip
Runner’s Knee- Tenderness behind or around the patella, usually around the center of the kneecap. Pain increases when sitting with knees bent for a long period of time, or when climbing stairs or running downhill.
Shin Splints- Tenderness, soreness, or pain along the inside of your calf region and beside the shin. This can also be a dull, deep, aching pain and usually happens only when you’re running.
Achilles Tendonitis- Dull or sharp pain anywhere along your Achilles tendon, but usually close to the heel. You’ll usually feel pain when squeezing the Achilles tendon in the affected area, and may sometime feel lumps or nodules along the tendon.
So the main message before starting a running program is listen to your body. I was reading a great blog by Jason Fitzgerald, as he reflects on his 13 years of competitive racing and highlights the areas where he made mistakes leading to injury. It’s always good to learn from another’s mistakes. Click on this link to read more.