Running techniques and tips

Talk of hill sprints can bring a bring a wave of nausea over even experienced runners.  This is even worse for the novice runner but used appropriately they are a fantastic tool. Hill sprints can help develop your running technique as well as the obvious conditioning benefits. So how do you add them to your repertoire to get the most out of them? Hill sprints

Illiotibial band syndrome often seems like a plague for runners. Everyone knows someone who has it or has had it themselves but it is much misunderstood as to what and where it is. The illiotibial band is a thick, fibrous length of connective tissue that runs from the illiac crest to the lateral condyle of the tibia. It crosses both the hip and the knee joints and plays a role in the stabilisation of both of them.  As well as aiding the stabilisation of the knee and hip it is involved in the abduction and extension of the the hip through the attachment of Glute Max and Tensor Fascia Lata.  

What are the 5 most common running injuries? Running is such an easy form of exercise to get into and a fundamental requirement for a huge range of sports that it is no surprise that a huge number of people run as part of their fitness regime. Running injuries are very common with a figure of around 70% of those who run getting an injury of some sort every year. This isn't because running is particularly risky rather it's more that it's very easy just to stick your trainers on and get cracking. As a result of the very easy access to using running as a means of getting fit etc people tend to do it without much thought as to what they are doing. When I say this I am talking about how much they are doing in terms of either volume, intensity of effort and also in terms of the skill of running. Whilst I would agree that we are all born to run not all of us are going to run well straight away and we tend to forget it is actually quite a demanding activity. Training load, the volume and intensity bit above, is generally the biggest factor in the causes of injury whilst the actual skill sits about 3rd but its importance increases as you get better at it and look to make more demands of yourself, the better your form the more likely you are to distribute the stress over the correct areas. So what are the most common running injuries?

Any sport that has you running or jumping, or if you include these in your prep for them, has the potential for achilles tendon problems. It is not uncommon for people to think that they have an issue with an achilles tendon and for it to be a different tissue in the area. The pain actually being in the  toe flexors or posterior tibialis both of which sit in front of the achilles but these can be easily ruled out during the initial examination . Once it is established that it is an achllies problem we can begin work on addressing it. We now use the term tendinopathy instead of tendonitis as recent research has shown that there are rarely any inflammatory changes in the tendon.

I've mentioned in the blog before the idea of different foot strikes when you are running be they forefoot, midfoot or rear foot. A rear foot or heel strike tends to get a bad press, especially when the idea of running barefoot was at it's peak yet there is nothing wrong with running with a heel strike vs mid or forefoot and most of us will tend towards a heal strike until we are running at a sufficiently high pace. You will also tend to see even faster runners or those who tend towards a mid/forefoot strike moving towards a heel strike as they tire, most noticeable during longer races such as marathons or the running portion of an IronMan.