Gym-goers have had to swap the type of exercise they normally take part in, thanks to the country’s recent lockdown. This has resulted in many people ditching weights and spinning bikes for old-fashioned running. However, without knowing what they are doing, this could lead to all sorts of injuries.
Over the last week, gyms all around the UK have been forced to close their doors to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. For many people, this has meant one of the only ways they can keep fit is by putting on their sneakers and going for a run.
However, inexperienced runners are prone to injuries. Here are some tips on how to avoid hurting themselves, which would put even more pressure on the NHS at this difficult time.
- Start slowly
It can be tempting to head outdoors and run as fast as you can, particularly if you are fed up of being at home and need to let off steam. However, running too quickly is not a good idea, especially if you are not used to it.
You need to build up your mileage, speed and frequency slowly, otherwise you will cause yourself shin pain. You cannot expect to run like Mo Farrah in your first week, so start with short easy runs and slowly build these up every time you go out.
Runner and sports podiatrist Stephen Pribut told Runners World that sports enthusiasts need to be careful of the “terrible toos”, which includes trying to do too much, too soon, and too fast. Muscles and joints need to get used to this form of exercise and require recovery time in between runs too. Without this, you could end your running career even before it’s begun.
- Wear the right shoes
You might not be in a position to be too picky at the moment when it comes to footwear, as it would be hard to buy an alternative set of trainers. However, it is a good idea to make sure the shoes you have are appropriate for running in, especially if you want to cover longer distances.
An article in Self.com suggests working out if your feet roll inwardly when running or don’t roll enough, and whether you run on your toes or your heels. Once you know where you generally wear your trainers down the most, you will have a good idea which ones will provide the right support.
Experts cannot agree on when the best time to stretch is, before or after the activity. However, it is essential that at some point, you stretch the back of your legs, including hamstrings and calf muscles.
If there is tightness in these areas, injury is more likely to occur. Therefore, Runners World recommended doing some hip-flexor exercises to improve movement in the knee joints, while stretching calves will help alleviate pain in the Achilles tendon as well.
It advised not to do static stretches prior to a run, as the body has not warmed up yet. However, dynamic stretches are a good idea as this helps stretch important muscles, as well as provide a warm-up.
If you do injure yourself running, get in touch with a physiotherapist in Maidenhead for advice straightaway.