We know that some of our Vavista customers, as well as some brave Vavista staff, are taking part in the London marathon – getting healthier as well as raising money for worthy causes, such as MIND (our chosen charity). If you’re one of those determined runners, you may need a bit of support as you start to ramp up the training miles. Here are three additional considerations to make those gruelling runs a little easier, reduce the risk of injury and help to re-build flagging motivation…
Get out of a rut
When you’re some months into a training schedule, it can be tempting to run the same routes, repeatedly – you’ve got into a habit and you can easily monitor your progress.
But, as you spend more and more time on your training, a few changes in route can add benefits. The change in scenery distracts you from your aching muscles and relieves some of the boredom. A variation in terrain from pavement to off -road running can reduce the constant pounding on your knees. If the ground is slightly uneven, it can also improve proprioception – stability around your joints – which will lower risk of injury, as well.
Buy more running shoes
Don’t just mix up your routes. Apparently, rotating your running shoes can also reduce the risk of injury, by over 30%. It may seem counter-intuitive to get new shoes when you have worn in a pair that seem to suit you perfectly. And, running shoes aren’t cheap. But, swapping between slightly different trainer styles means you aren’t stressing your feet and legs in the same way every time. You may even find that another style is more comfortable now that you’re running further. And, if you happen to lose or damage your favourites before the big day, it’s good to know that you have a tried and tested back-up. Finally, a slightly different style may be better suited to that change in terrain, mentioned above.
Review your recovery routine
Failing to stretch and recover is less of an issue when you are running two or three miles. But as you start to hit double figures, it’s not just a good idea to stretch – it’s vital. Long runs will cause your muscles to swell and, as they are encased in a fibrous sheath called fascia, they will hurt as they expand. Stretching after exercise will help, and, if you haven’t already, invest in a good foam roller. Studies show that they can reduce soreness, aid recovery of muscle strength and improve proprioception, which will make the next run less uncomfortable, and reduce risk of injury.
Malisoux L, Ramesh J, Mann R, Seil R, Urhausen A, Theisen D. Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running-related injury risk? Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015 Feb;25(1):110-5.
Naderi A, Rezvani MH, Degens H. Foam Rolling and Muscle and Joint Proprioception After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage. J Athl Train. 2020 Jan;55(1):58-64.
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