This just in:
“Paul, I was out on a run last weekend, when all of a sudden I felt a shooting pain in my leg.
There was no prior warning, I could carry on and make my way home, I even managed to cut my run time down! But can you advise me on how to stop this happening? I don’t want to have to stop running one day!! And even worse, have an annoying pain in my leg!”
– Simon, 43, Billingham.
Ok, so here’s the thing, runners are the most frequent group of people that I see come into my clinics with sports injuries.
Did you know that the annual injury rate for runners is as high as 66%?! That’s pretty high… so why is this?
Well, for many of us our bodies aren’t always as well prepared as we may think, to handle the stress of pounding the pavements. Even if you’re a regular runner, every runner should mix in other forms of exercise to prevent injuries from striking when you least expect them.
Now I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the other week Newcastle keeper Tim Krul suffered a knee injury in their game against Holland. Injuries for players can be career threatening, but luckily for Tim, with the help of sports physio, he should be back in the goal soon.
So how can you prevent knee pain creeping up on you, so that you can still enjoy running at the weekends?
I’ll let you in on the secrets of the top football players…
As well as running weekly, the big stars also incorporate leg strength training exercises in their routines.
Whilst Newcastle’s goalie will be doing more strength training than usual, the good news for you is that you only need a small amount yourself to dramatically cut the risk of having running injuries.
One of the main strength exercises that I give to my patients who love to run, and even the football players that I used to work wit, is the forward lunge.
You’ve most likely heard of it, but even so the classic lunge strengthens your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and also helps to increase the range of movement in your hips. Since most of us have tight hips from sitting most of the day – this is a great exercise specific to help you run the best you can.
To perform a forward lunge, simply take a step forward with your right leg so your knee is positioned over your ankle. Lower your body until your left knee brushes the ground. Step back, and repeat on the other side.
I recommend to start with 2 repetitions per leg (depending on how long you’ve been running for), and as you grow stronger with time, progress to 5 repetitions on each leg.
If you want to know more about the exact steps you need to take, please look here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/sports-injury-clinic there is a free report waiting for you with all my best “do this, but don’t do that” tips on how to prevent the common sports or muscle injuries.