Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The 10 commandments to running injury-free (Bamford 2008) - written 03/08

Everyone knows abiding by the rules is a sure-fire way to success, especially when it comes to injury, so here NICOLA BAMFORD details the 10 commandments to running injury-free – ignore them at your peril....!

1. Thou shalt partake in regular sports therapy massage (should one’s finances permit) and practice diligent, daily stretching routines of all the major muscle groups. In the case of extreme soreness, thou shalt resort to the alternative method of ice and heating the injured area (5mins ice, 3mins heat x 3) and even self-massage.

2. Thou shalt recognise the importance of an adequate warm up (at least one-mile aerobic work, followed by drills) and cool-down (one-mile aerobic work, followed by stretching).

3. Thou shalt not neglect the most vital component to running apparel - correct footwear. Thou shalt endeavour to possess a different pair of footwear for each terrain and speed of runs and sessions, or at least update one’s shoes regularly.

4. Thou shalt run to heart-rate on recovery, steady and fast runs to ensure one is not over or under-doing the exertion rate. Taking one’s resting heart-rate upon wakening is additionally advisable, in order to gain an insight into one’s health.

5. Thou shalt ensure every other day is a recovery run, to guarantee adequate recovery from the previous day’s exertions.

6. Thou shalt invest time in core and conditioning workouts, for this area is key to being a stable, injury-free runner. Strength work, such as weights and circuits are also beneficial.

7. Thou shalt indulge in a balanced, high carbohydrate and protein diet and show particular attention to what one eats before and after physical exertions. Thou shalt not exercise within two-hours of digestion and will make use of the 2-hour window post-training, to fulfil one’s nutritional requirements. Thou shalt refrain from over-eating, with the excuse of one’s training volume.

8. Thou shalt manage one’s lifestyle effectively and not lose sight of what matters most – enjoyment! Thou shalt learn to be patient and grateful for one’s health.

9. Thou shalt race sparingly; ideally twice per month, to avoid becoming tired and stale.

10. Thou shalt rest – as God’s traditional day of rest falls on a Sunday (when most runners partake in a long run) thou shalt rest for at least one other day per week, to allow for physiological adaptations to take place in one’s body.

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