Five ways to prevent yourself ‘running’ into injuries

Pilates at David Lloyds leisure centre

Pilates at David Lloyds leisure centre

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Boxing in the ring, or getting your head down in a rugby scrum is more dangerous than simply going for a run, right? Wrong.

Recent research reveals you are more likely to suffer from an injury through running, than many other sports including the likes of boxing, rugby and even horse riding.

Pilates

Pilates

To help us prevent running injuries we have spoken to a few experts to get their top tips….

1. Every runner should try Pilates

Controlling your alignment and breathing will help with your core stability. This is essential for a good running technique, you may think you’re just running using mainly your legs but you also engage your lower abdomen muscles.

“In terms of runners, sometimes a slight imbalance in the body will go on to create problems because it’s such a repetitive movement that you’re doing. Even a small adjustment in your posture or in your core stability can make a huge impact,” says Lynne Robinson, founder of Body Control Pilates (www.bodycontrolpilates.com).

Lynne shares her top three pre-run moves:

Spine curls

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet in parallel on the floor.

Breathe out as you curl your tailbone under, tilting your pelvis backwards as you peel your spine off the mat one vertebra at a time, lengthening your knees away from your hips.

Roll up to the tips of the shoulder blades.

Breathe in and hold the position, focusing on the length in your spine. Breathe out as you roll the spine back down, wheeling each bone down in turn. Breathe in as you release the pelvis back to level again.

Repeat ten times.

Oyster

Start by lying straight on your side with your bottom arm under your head and your top hand on the mat in front of you. Bend your knees and draw your feet back, so that your heels are aligned with the back of your pelvis. Place a cushion between your knees.

Exhaling, open out your top knee from the hip joint, keeping your feet connected. Keep your pelvis stable.

Inhaling, return your leg to the starting position with control. Repeat ten times on each side.

Prone knee lifts

Lie on your front. Rest your forehead on a folded towel and place your fingertips under your pelvic bones.

Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle. Maintaining the position and stability of your pelvis breathe in and lift the leg up slightly off the mat.

Breathing out, lower the leg back down. Repeat ten times on each side.

2. Spot common foot problems

If you have persistent pain, soreness, a feeling of excess heat, or any kind of swelling, go to your GP or a podiatrist. But look after your feet at home, too.

Try something like the Carnation PediRoller (£9.99, firstaidfast.co.uk), which helps to relax the bottom of the foot, ideal for before or after running, or just after a long day on your feet.

Leave the PediRoller in the fridge overnight and roll each foot back and forth over it for five minutes.

“Regular use of the PediRoller will go a long way to warding off dreaded plantar fasciitis, as it can help reduce inflammation of the affected tissue and strengthen muscles in the sole of the foot,” says Dave Wain, Carnation Footcare podiatrist.

“Plantar Fasciitis is a common and very painful foot condition, referring to inflammation of the tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot. When running, the repetition of the foot hitting the ground causes damage to the tissue resulting in a tight feeling in the sole of the foot.”

3. Wear the correct footwear

“Remember to change worn out footwear,” says podiatrist Michael Ratcliffe. “Running shoes in particular should be replaced after approximately 500 miles.

“It’s also important to not wear someone else’s footwear, as each person has individual needs to what is comfortable and supportive to their feet.”

4. Up your fish intake

“To help prevent pain and inflammation, which can be a common occurrence for runners it’s important to keep your omega-3 levels high,” explains nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

“The omega-3s EPA and DHA, found in oily fish, are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.

“To make sure you’re getting your daily dose of Omega-3 I would recommend drinking Smartfish Recharge. By supporting recovery and bringing down inflammation, the omega-3s in Smartfish Recharge could help prevent injuries.”

5. Prevent injury with protein

It is crucial to have an adequate protein intake, as this food group helps repair muscle tissue and reduces muscle breakdown after exercise.

“Fish, meat and eggs are generally the best sources of protein, as the concentration and quality of protein in plant foods are not as high,” adds cassandra.

“Vegetarians and vegans need to pay particular attention to getting enough protein and a variety of protein sources to meet their needs.

“Runners usually have high requirements for protein for muscle repair and strength, and it could be difficult to get enough if your not having a good serving of protein at each meal.

“If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough protein I’d suggest Nature’s Plus Sunflower Protein (£22.50, naturesplus.co.uk), which is an organic plant protein without any additives or sweeteners.”