Thousands of individuals every year create new years resolutions to be healthier, fitter, faster and stronger. This is great! However, very few of these individuals give much thought to their current fitness abilities and then find themselves very quickly over loading and sustaining injuries, bringing their goals to a screaming halt.

So, before you complete that half marathon you’ve always wanted to tick off the bucket list or dusting off the old football boots and becoming a weekend warrior again, read on below.

Amy Decker, Physiotherapist at our Langwarrin clinic, discusses four key points to reduce your likelihood of injury:

Warming up

Warming up is an important factor to improving your performance and preparing your body as it increases in core temperature preparing for the task ahead.

A warm up may include:
1. Light aerobic exercise 2-5minutes (eg. Walking, jog, slow skip)
2. Flexibility both static/dynamic stretching 3 – 10minutes
3. Specific warm up of the skill or task as needed (eg. Football drills, running)

Biomechanics

It is estimated that up to 70% of runners sustain an over use injury each year, which could be related to several different factors including incorrect foot wear, over load, poor recovery, previous injury factors, muscle imbalance and muscular weakness. Therefore it is important to identify and address any weaknesses in particular before beginning your training that can be completed by your physiotherapist. Throughout your program it is also highly recommended to complete two- three strength training sessions a week to maintain muscular balance and strength.

Progressive over load

A common program to avoid over load in your training is breaking the month up into each week. Including three typically hard training weeks followed by one light ‘unload’ week. This ‘unload’ week allows for training adaptations to occur and your body to recover without continuously over loading. Within the weekly training sessions you can decide to work on endurance, speed, flexibility, skills or strength, all-important components of a variety of sports. Ensuring the sessions are tailored to your own individual capabilities working towards the end goal only increasing the load by no more than 10% each week.

Recovery

The great debate – what is the best form of recovery? An article in 2013 identified there was no difference between passive recovery, active recovery, cold-water immersion or a combination of all on performance. Although an athletes perception of soreness was reduced with cold water immersion. Therefore listen to your body/mind and complete a recovery session, which is best suited to your needs. It is also important to consider nutrition, sleep, compression, load and body therapies including massage and foam rolling as apart of your recovery.

 

So if you are keen to take your training to the next level or would like to identify any biomechanical weaknesses then book an appointment with one of our qualified physiotherapists today.

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