1. Get into the right shoe:
Poor biomechanics are the root of alot of running injuries. Chartered Physiotherapists can perform a detailed assessment to identify any such problems that can lead to injury, such as fallen or high foot arches. You will be advised of the best running shoe for your foot type – specialist sports shoe shops can also be of help. Make sure you are wearing a proper running or walking shoe.
2. Follow the 10% rule: never increase your mileage by more than 10% per week, and never increase both your speed and distance in the same week.
3. Warm-up: make sure to warm-up adequately before exercising. This prepares the body for training by increasing your heart rate, flexibility, and body temperature. A dynamic warm-up for running should include gentle jogging, stride outs and drills, and for walking, just build up the pace over the first 5-10 mins.
4. Cool- down: cool down properly after your run or after a long or fast walk. This should include some static stretching and foam rolling if possible. Stretches should be held for at least 20 seconds.
See stretches here: http://eastcoastphysio.ie/blog/stretches/
5. R&R: rest and recovery. Allow at least 1 rest day per week, if you don’t you risk overtraining syndrome. Difficulty sleeping, a higher resting heart rate, and darker urine are all signs of being burnt-out.
6. Listen to your body: don’t let niggles develop – anything not sorted out with a couple of days rest should be assessed.
7. Variation: vary running direction and running surface. Smooth, soft surfaces such as grass and trails are kinder than running on concrete. Running on the same side of the road can lead to strain if there is a camber in the road.
8. Get the foundation right: runners need a solid foundation, or good “core stability” to minimise strain on their back and legs. Pilates and strength training are good forms of this.
9. Roll it out: foam rolling is a good way of helping your muscles to recover. See our video on foam rolling here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hW9kAZu2HU
10. Be patient! Set realistic goals and work towards them gradually (see rule 2!).