Pages Navigation Menu

how to de-stress

Channel Your Inner Sports Physiotherapist To Prevent Injuries To The Beginner Runner

New year, new you. That’s the mantra for thousands of Australians each year when they decide it’s hip to get fit! Running is one of the cheapest exercises you can choose to boost your exercising endeavours. All you need is a new pair of shoes and the motivation to get those legs out the front door. The problem is, your over-enthusiastic attitude could send you straight to the injury bench if you do not follow two rules designed to protect newbie runners. 

Follow The 10% Rule

While your mind may be willing to tackle a 10 km marathon your first week as a runner, your body is definitely not up to the task. You need to start slowly, and then increase the number of weekly kilometres you run by 10% each week.

Start off with a combination of running and walking for the first week. For example, you could run for one minute, walk for two minutes, and then repeat this until you have been moving for 30 minutes. Make a note of how far you travel in that 30 minute period by using a wrist pedometer device, or an app on your smartphone. This way you know how much to increase it by the following week.

Allow For Recovery Time

Putting your body under too much pressure straight away is going to put a strain on your muscles and joints that could lead to injuries. There are two different ways you need to allow for recovery time during your new running regime:

  1. The warm down period after every run is a vital recovery time for your body. You must include 10 minutes of stretch time after each run to allow lactic acid to drain away from your muscles. Stretches should cover your lower back, legs. and hips. If you do not do this, the acid gets trapped when the muscles constrict back into shape, and this leads to a world of pain the next morning.
  2. When you first start running, you should only run every other day for the first month. On the alternate days, you can take a leisurely walk, and you should allow for one total rest day each week. This gives your body the chance to slowly get used to this new pressure you are placing on it.

Don’t be in too much of a rush when it comes to getting your running up to a speed you want to brag about and make sure you get help from a sports physiotherapist the minute you notice any recurring niggles or aches in your body. A physiotherapist (such as one from Sportswise Physiotherapy) can help you make corrections to your running technique so you can continue your new exercise mantra for the whole year, rather than just only for the first month.