Three tips to help your running

running

AUGUST 2015 – Whether you love running, hate running, or love to hate running here are three simple tips to keep you moving.

Before I begin, let’s set the ground rules. Running for fitness, for a sport or just for fun should not be painful. Running is a natural activity. Our bones, muscles, and joints have been designed for running. If running causes you pain or if you stopped running because of pain, odds are there is something wrong.

With a little guidance, most everyone should be able to return to pain free running.  So let’s not just roll out those ITB (iliotibial band syndrome) bands, calves, and hamstrings. Let’s discover what’s wrong and fix it!

1) Cross Train: Okay so this is counter intuitive. I just told you I was going to tell you how to be a better runner, but now I am telling you to do something else. Here’s the deal, when you use the same muscles, in the same way, without variety of movement, tissues break down. This leads to pain, which leads to time away from running or from your sport.

Health & Fitness ReportSo split up your workouts. Weight train some days, swim others and throw in some biking. Just do not do the same thing every day of the week. You don’t work seven days a week, don’t ask your body to run seven.

2)  Improve Single Leg Stability: Here’s a quick test. Stand in front of a mirror. Balance on one leg and slowly squat on that leg. Can you do this without your hip dropping or poking to the side? Can you do this without your knee wobbling (it should stay over your second toe)? If you can’t do this simple task — and many runners can’t — then odds are you are setting yourself up for injury.

Running is the transition of balance from one leg to the other at a high rate of speed. If you cannot control a static single leg squat, then how can you control a quick one over varied terrain? If you have difficulty with this task consider a strengthening class designed for runners or those in running sports like the one offered at CORE Strategies.

3) Sleep and Injury: This one is often overlooked in our busy lives. More and more research reveals the link between decreased sleep and injury. In almost every professional sport you will find trainers encouraging their players to get a full night’s sleep. For most adults seven to nine hours are recommended. For teenagers and young adults sleep is even more important.  So don’t skimp on the sleep.

If you find yourself, your child or someone you know deficient in any one of these three areas, make a change! You’d be surprised at how much adjustments like these can help.

Please don’t run through pain. Pain is a warning sign something is wrong or about to go wrong. Find a physical therapist familiar with a runner’s needs to help you work smarter not harder.

Article by Scott Moreland, DPT. Scott is a physical therapist and movement specialist at CORE Strategies Physical Therapy, Sport Performance & Medical Fitness located in Overland Park.  The CORE team specializes in rehabilitation and performance training for clients of all ages and activity levels.  To learn more about CORE’s sport specific programs visit www.coreptkc.com.  Contact Scott at scott@coreptkc.com.

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