If you are looking to get back into running after a break here is advice from Lewis Manning, Senior Sports Physiotherapist at BMI The London Independent Hospital
The most important thing you need to remember when getting back into running after a break, especially if you’re recovering from an injury, is to increase your training gradually. All other interventions are secondary to this and if you get this wrong, you are much more likely to get injured. This is because both your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems take time to adapt to the new load that is being put on them.
The general rule when running is that you should only increase your training load by 10% a week (unless your longest run is less than 4 miles, then you can increase things a bit more quickly).
Have a good pair of running shoes that suit you.
Everyone is different and it doesn’t have to be the most expensive pair that are the best.
Be careful about starting to run if you are significantly overweight.
It may be helpful to begin with low-impact exercise such as walking or cross training to begin with.
Warm up by running a bit slower for the first 5-10 minutes is important on the higher intensity (especially interval) runs. However, general static stretching before running has been shown to not reduce the chances of injury. It may be important to stretch specific muscles that are tight on you, but this should be done throughout the week, not just before a run.
Running on softer surfaces
Surfaces such as grass or a treadmill are a great way to get back into training as they put less force through your body. However, if you are competing in an event that requires road running, you will need to do some training on the road too.
(again, this is another topic in itself) and drink when you need to. Don’t be obsessed by drinking, whether it be water or sports drinks, however. Your body will tell you when you need to drink and drinking too much can cause as many problems as not drinking enough.
Listen to your body.
Your body will generally ache a bit when returning to running. However, if niggles become persistent and are worsening, you should nip this in the bud early by getting advice from a physiotherapist.
This article was taken from Issue 2. Subscribe now