running

Are you missing ankle mobility? Having sufficient range of movement in your ankle is important. If you want to run fast or jump high having good ankle range of movement in dorsiflexion is essential. This is not just in the sporting environment but simply to walk well we need good ankle mobility. The movement that important is the ability to pull your toes towards you. A lack of dorsiflexion is linked with increased injury risk with achilles tendinopathy and patella tendinopathy having been shown to be impacted by a lack of ankle mobility in dorsiflexion.

Your running warm-up is a great chance to prime yourself for a better quality run.  Warming up for exercise will always improve performance as it allows you to prepare for the harder work to come. Anything that raises your temperature and heart rate is a good thing but getting your warm up for running right is even better. A well-used form of warm up is the RAMP  style warm up. RAMP stands for
  • Raise temperature and heart rate
  • Activate the muscles to be used
  • Mobilise the joints
  • Potentiate or prime the body for the forces/intensities to be used

Last week I had a quick look at the benefits to runners of including strength training in their program. This week we'll look at when to schedule strength training in a running program. Where should you fit it in so that you get the benefit of having it in there but not have an adverse effect on your main activity, that is to say running?  

Strength and conditioning in sport are more common place over time. The role of the strength and conditioning specialist becoming more important as athletes look to maximise their potential. This makes a lot of sense from when we considier the benefits of being a stronger athlete. A stronger athlete will, in most cases, never be anywhere tapping out their strength in a game situation.  The conditioning side is about what is the appropriate type of work to be done. There is a lot to be gained from training the different energy systems but what ones are important.  Knowing what aspects to train and where to place them are very important. There is no point  in a marathon runner doing a Tabata session or a sprinter running for an hour.  Plyometric drills that can of great benefit when used correctly for runners of all distances.  

Having stronger calf muscles is a great way to help reduce the chances of injury. The lower leg and feet take something of a pasting when you run. The peak load that occur when you are running start at around 3 times your body weight. In the lower leg the peak loads on soleus are  7 times body weight at normal running speeds.  Wse types of loads it is easy to see the benefits of stronger calf muscles. The 2.5 figure is at slower running speeds and not sprinting. When sprinting the overall peak load is 7 or 8 times your body weight. From this it is easy to see how any interval session is going to be even more stressful.

Marathon preparation is a lengthy one and it is worth spending some time planning it. If you have just finished one or a half marathon and thinking about your next challenge. It may be stepping up to the marathon or looking at setting a PB in the next marathon. Whatever challenge the next race is it's worth setting some goals and formulating a training plan. It's estimated that for those tackling the marathon around 90%, yes you read that correctly 90%, will pick up some sort of injury. This is simply down to the training being tough. You need to get used to spending a lot of time on your feet and it gets to the stage where a short run is 5 or 6 miles. Not all of these injuries will be significant in terms of lost training time but it still highlights how demanding the training is.