The first Great North Run聽startedin 1981 with just 12 ,000 runners, increasing massively to having over 100,000applications in 2012, of which only 55,000 were selected to run. The racebegins in Newcastle moving across the Tyne Bridge before moving to Gatesheadand finishing in South Shields. The record for the course was set in 2011 in atime of 59 minutes and 27 seconds.
The rest ofus can but dream of achieving such a time with many of us just hoping to finishthe race. Training is everything for such a long distance, by conditioning thebody and building the right muscles so that you can manage the distance andstay free from running injuries.
Inundertaking such a challenge running injuries can be at the forefront of allparticipants minds , knowing that the slightest strain or sprain can end monthsof training and preparation and put you out of the race. Whilst injuries aresometimes unavoidable there a few things you can do to help prevent them.
How to avoid running injuries?
Warming upand cooling down is an essential part of any exercise routine. Warming upensures that your muscles are ready for action through stretching and help toavoid spasms and running injuries as a result of doing too much before yourmuscles are ready. Cooling down after exercise also allows you muscles to cometo rest gradually, as suddenly stopping can result in a build-up of lactic acidand stiffness of the muscle. If you are running a half marathon聽then thechances are you will be quite sore and stiff in the morning, which is whycooling down can help.
You shouldalso know your limits when exercising, regardless of whether it is running,playing football or even walking. If you overdo something then you are muchmore susceptible to injury, with running injuries no different in being able tomanage your training. If you decide to go out and run a marathon with notraining then you are much more likely to incur running injuries than if youwere fully prepared. When you look at training guides they will always tell youto vary your training from distance to speed interval training so that yourmuscles are fully conditioned.
Different types of running injuries
There are anumber of common running injuries which you can expect to see. As running ishigh impact on the lower body it can cause specific problems affecting thefoot , ankle joint, shin and knee joints. Muscles in the lower body such as thecalf and hamstring are also susceptible to injury through strains and tears.
One of themore common forms of running injuries is that of shin splints. This is ageneral term used to describe pain within the shin, or front of the leg, as aresult of exercise. The pain incurred from shin splints can be felt both duringand after exercise and can limit movement and performance. It is most common insports requiring bursts of speed and sudden stopping and can be seen in a rangeof sports including football, tennis and of course running. of a point per game
If youbelieve you are suffering from shin splints then it is wise to stop trainingimmediately and rest. If you fail to do so then the pain can becomeconsiderably worse around the shin bone area and effectively force you to stop.Whilst you can still exercise during recovery from shin splints it is advisedthat you refrain from impact activities such as running and opt for othersports such as swimming or cycling which impact less on the shin bone.
Shin splintsare largely self-limiting in that it will get better over time through rest,ice to manage any pain and inflammation and perhaps even a shin splints band.The shin splints band fits around the shin to apply compression to the affectedarea , helping to manage pain and reduce inflammation. The sports brace is alsodesigned to aid performance, allowing patients to continue exercise for longerwithout their injury getting in the way.
The majorityof running injuries are as a result of overuse, though other injuries involvingthe ankle joints can be as a result of slipping or tripping when out on theroad. A sprained ankle can be very frustrating in that it can hinder yourmovement both from an exercise and every day perspective. Inflammation to theankle joint can be very painful and stop you from training, though as with mostrunning injuries it should get better over time. An ankle injury should bemanaged with rest and ice to manage the inflammation. If the injury does notget better after a few days then you should consult with a clinician.
What are sports braces?
Sportsbraces technology has also improved in recent years with braces available for arange of specific conditions, both muscle and joint related. As discussed, shinsplints bands are designed to manage shin splints , whereas compression shortsare designed to manage groin and hamstring strains. A clinician will be able toadvise which sports brace is right for you and whether it should be used postinjury or can be worn thereafter to help prevent further injury in the future.
The mostimportant thing to remember when exercising and staying clear of common running injuries聽is to know your limits and if you incur an injury stop immediatelyand rest. In the build-up to the Great North Run the last thing you want ismake an injury worse so be sensible. If you are ever in doubt about specificrunning injuries such as shin splints or patella tendonitis then you shouldconsult a clinician who will be able to offer a professional diagnosis andappropriate types of treatment.
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