Don’t let it rain on your run

11-10-2017

Be alert to any pain or discomfort and fix it before it comes in the way of your running

Almost everybody is running. Some do it just for sheer fun, some run for a cause and others take it up as a way to stay fit. But if you want to enjoy running for a longer time, you should take care to be free from injury and pain.

If you are over 30 years, get a basic medical screening before you begin to run. More so, if you have led a sedentary lifestyle, are obese, have been inactive for a long time or suffer from hypertension or diabetes. Even if you are healthy and active, it is wise to have regular medical check-up once every two or three years in your 40s and once a year after 50.

Even top athletes suffer running injuries often caused by overuse of some part of the body. This can start as intermittent discomfort and, if left unattended, it will progress to a chronic persistent pain.

Sometimes, a sudden twist in the knee, ankle or strain in the muscle can also lead to injury. With early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, one can recover quickly and get back to running.

 

Common pain issues associated with running are plantar fasciitis pain in the heel or sole, Metatarsalgia in the ankle ligaments and Achilles tendonitis in the heel. These are inflammations of soft tissue due to misdirected force or cumulative loads on body parts that are not strong enough.

Abnormal bio-mechanical forces in flat feet or minor difference in the length of the leg may also cause pain in any part of lower limbs. Old people normally suffer knee pain due to degenerative osteoarthritisOtherwise, knee ligament injuries are due to twisting of knee or training on uneven or hard terrain. Poor quality, size or fit of shoes can also cause pain and blisters. Chaffing of the skin is another issue faced by runners.

Most injuries once evaluated can be reversed through physiotherapy and prescribed exercise programmes and allow you to get back to running.

Stay away from injury

Gen up Arm yourself with information from reliable books, coaches, doctors, physiotherapists and seasoned long distance runners

Know yourself Understand the body’s fitness levels and plan an appropriate programme. Running is an endurance exercise and needs to be supported by muscle strength and flexibility. Identify your strength and weakness

Stretch and strengthen Always do warm-ups and cool-down stretches

Cross train and rest days Alternating running with activities like swimming, cycling or working out at a gym helps maintain fitness and strengthens muscles that supports running. Always give your body a day of rest to recover and replenish

Patience during progress If you’re new to exercise, start by walking for few weeks. Once you get in better shape, add short spurts of running and soon, the duration of running can be extended gradually at about 5-10% every week. If there is pain or discomfort, get it checked before resuming running

Diet & Hydration Poor diet and hydration can cause fatigue and muscle cramps and a slower recovery from exercise. Hydration is critical before, during and after exercise. Consult a sports nutritionist for a balanced, healthy diet plan if required

Technique and shoes Good running technique helps you to minimise the load on your body structures on even surface, grass or gravel terrain, rather than on harder concrete or tar roads. The type of shoe you need depends upon your foot or arch type and style of running. Some may need insoles for flat feet, to correct the limb length difference or to balance the biomechanics

Respect body’s warning signals Pain, stiffness, fatigue, cramps are all warning signals of injury. Consult a qualified doctor to find out the reason and manage it before it worsens. Don’t wait for the niggle to become trouble and prolong the recovery period, it may even reduce the chance of complete recover

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