The event is just around the corner, your fitness has improved and you’re feeling great. Then the unthinkable happens! You roll your ankle, your knees start to get sore, your shins are excruciating, you’re injured.
Getting an injury doesn’t mean the end of your race, if you acknowledge what is happening, seek help straight away and stop running until you have a diagnosis then you’re going to be fine.
Injuries in runners are common and and lot of them can be prevented by being sensible about your training. But the reality is we aren’t all that wise and some of us have to learn the hard way.
When running isn’t the best thing for you, there are a lot of things you can do that will help you to keep your fitness level up and to come back stronger after having a set back.
It’s the most glamorous sport out dear! Aqua jogging is running in water and it imitates the motion that your body goes through when running, so you will keep your running specific muscles active. Since you’re suspended in water there is no impact on your bones from hitting the pavement. You can do this at most swimming pools in Wellington just remember to check the lane bookings before you head along. Click here for some ideas on different aqua jogging workouts you can do.
Best for- If you have a stress fracture this is the exercise for you. If you have a hip flexor injury or a bad ankle sprain avoid this exercise.
Squats hit a lot of running specific muscles, they improve knee stability and build strength in your legs. Start with body weight squats using both legs, and when you get your technique right you can progress to doing them on a single leg, or adding weight. If you have sore ankles you can use a Smith machine for squats to restrict the movement in your ankles.
Best for- Building strength, running will increase your endurance but if you want stronger legs some resistance training will help you.
Les Mills RPM® Classes are an indoor cycling workout, it will improve your lung capacity and build your endurance without adding any stress to your joints. The classes are 45 minutes long and you have the ability to control the intensity of the workout, so not matter your fitness level you can do this class.
Best for- Maintaining cardio fitness. Use this class as cross training as you get used to running, and if you have a stress fracture or a sprained ankle this class is for you.
Walking lunges control your body’s momentum, they will help you work on your forward motion as you are propelling your body forwards. Make sure that your knees don’t go past your toes when you’re at the bottom range of the movement.
Best for– controlled movements mean you will build on your balance and coordination, you’ll also increase your strength.
Bosu stands for ‘both sides utilised’, so you can use either side of this piece of equipment to balance on. The hard part is getting on to it, so be careful and stand next to a wall for extra balance until you’re safely standing on top. Using a Bosu Ball can also help to improve your balance which is helpful if you like trail or cross country running (you need extra balance then!).
Best for- Standing on a Bosu ball or other unstable surface can be very helpful when recovering from or trying to prevent an ankle sprain.
Use the time that you can’t run to spend time working on things that you never get around to, like flexibility, core strength, or just giving your running shoes a good clean!
If you are unsure how to do these exercises, get in touch with a Les Mills Gym Instructor to book in a one-on-one session and they can talk you through the correct techniques and give you your own personalised program. If it’s sounding like these exercises won’t suit you and your ailments, get in touch with your physiotherapist for some exercises you can do, and promise yourself that you will commit to doing them regularly.