Sometimes, just sometimes, I hate running.
I soon fall in love with it all over again but there is one element which makes me truly hate it sometimes. It’s not hitting the wall in a race, nor is it dragging myself out on long runs in the cold, dark and wet weather, it’s injury.
That dreaded word strikes fear in to the hearts – and legs – of runners everywhere. Ask any runner, or any athlete for that matter, and they’ll probably tell you that the most frustrating thing you can be told to do is rest. Yes, it’s the sensible thing to do but when it’s what you love and what you do then being told you can’t perform for a while is devastating.
This blog post comes after a disappointing training run which basically ended in tears of frustration at a year old knee problem rearing its ugly head again.
So after a pep talk from Dane we decided that for a while it’s going to be lots of swimming, cycling and trail running rather than road running. He has also designed me my very own injury prevention programme which I’m excited to start.
Post pep talk I turned to my new bible. Ready to Run by Dr Kelly Starrett explains how to prevent and deal with injuries, how to tap in to your running potential and how to turn your weaknesses in to your strengths. Not only that but he also writes about how to equip your own home mobility gym and lays out a set of mobility exercises for restoring optimal function and range of motion to joints and tissues.
We should see injuries as messages about what’s missing in our mechanics and range of motion according to Starrett and by doing this we will be able to run faster, for longer and better.
Starrett has a two-stage plan of attack for tackling common running injuries such as runners knee, ITB syndrome and shin splints.
1. When chronic pain rears its ugly head, study your mechanics and positions to determine the root cause of the problem. Go through the position standards: neutral feet, a good squat, hip flexion, hip extension and the mobility of your feet and ankles.
2. Position and mechanics come first; treating the symptoms is your second priority. Work on the problem area but also above and below the problem.
Starrett’s point is simple: “all human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.”
As sports technology has developed we have been drawn in to a world of fancy trainers and innovative gadgets all boasting to enhance running performance but we need to be able to run without these items. Equip yourself with the tools and knowledge of how to maintain the best possible running form and technique and according to Starrett we will be Ready to Run.