How Sports Rehabilitation is your secret weapon to success as a runner
What I have learnt whilst working with athletes is that runners are the most determined, there is no stopping a runner from running. There is no such thing as a day off… they just run all year round.
This means that injuries such as stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and overuse injuries become very common, and generally get worse without treatment or rest. This, however, doesn’t stop a runner. It is thus important to implement pre-rehabilitation strategies to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, so sports therapists don’t have to pull the short straw and do the uncomfortable task of telling a runner to minimise their running.
Here are some of the things a sports therapist can provide that will help to minimise the risk of injury and enhance your running performance.
Prehabilitation, what is it?
Most of us know the importance of rehabilitation following surgery to restore physical strength and function. However, many will be confused with the concept of prehabilitation aka pre-hab. Pre-hab is designed to prevent injuries by taking care of weaknesses ahead of time to stop them from evolving. Why bother? Some may ask, but once injury hits, the regret sets in, and you wish you had spent that extra time looking after your body. In addition, studies have shown that those who incorporate pre-hab into their daily activities regain full function faster and more easily than those who don’t prehab before the injury.
Sports massage is a must for runners. It not only breaks down fascia (connective bands of tissue) but also helps improve overall running performance by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and helping remove metabolic waste such as lactic acid. This helps to maximise training, increase range of motion, and increase muscle energy activity. It also helps to maintain overall muscle health by identifying areas of tension and addressing them before an injury occurs.
Sports massage helps create an overall sense of wellness as it releases chemicals from the brain and can induce a state of relaxation, which can also help with sleep. Sleep is vital for recovery.
How often should you have sports massage?
If sports massage is undertaken regularly, it is easier to detect variations in the soft tissue. Muscle imbalances can be corrected before they become serious enough to cause discomfort. Advice will be given on how to maintain yourself between massages to prolong the benefits of the treatment.
Having regular monthly maintenance is a great place to start. However, if you are new to massage, don’t schedule it too close to an event just as you wouldn’t test out new running shoes or socks too close to a big event.
Sports massage is like an MOT for your body… it’ll keep you ticking over, stop you getting too tight and prevent niggles from turning into injuries.
Incorporating strength training into a running program?
Absolutely! For a runner, it is so important to strengthen your lower body and core. If you run all the time and do nothing else, you build up a few muscle groups, such as quadriceps and calves, whilst not really strengthening other areas. Unfortunately, long-distance running tends to leave out the posterior chain of the body, leaving muscular areas that are very important for speed, such as the hamstrings and the glutes, undeveloped. This means that you’re potentially losing functionality and will begin to develop muscular imbalances that will ultimately lead to injury. Stronger muscles can also act as a shock absorbers, which can reduce the load on the joints. Strength training not only reduces the likelihood of muscular imbalances, but it can also help to improve your endurance, speed and enjoyment as well as improve bone density which will reduce the likelihood of stress fractures.
Strong Body= Strong Runner
In summary, you can’t tell a runner to minimise their mileage. It’s vital, therefore, to avoid nasty injuries before they happen through rehabilitation, massage and strength training and thus maximise your chances of reaching your long-term running goals.
Do You Need Help With Your Running?
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Erica, Jean and Charlotte will be happy to help
If you’re looking to boost your running performance, why not try a sports massage. Regular massages are a runner’s MOT for the body. As a runner, you put so much effort into your training, it’s worth putting effort into taking good care of your body too.
There is a reason that top athletes have regular massage and the reason is it works. It helps them achieve their best with less pain and more flexibility. The same goes for the GPs in countries like Germany, where a course of massage is prescribed before drugs. Why? Because it works.
If you would like to get these same benefits for yourself, then please call the clinic now and book an appointment with Katie.