Are you pushing too hard and risking an overuse injury? It is easily done, but a regular self care check on your running to make sure you are not pushing the limits too far and risking an injury can save you a lot of grief and unecessary time away from running. Here are 8 signs to look out for:-
Playing catch up on a missed training session
Playing catch up by doubling up on training sessions causes a spike in your training load which could overload an already weakened structure.
SOLUTION: Don’t panic if you miss some sessions. You will catch up naturally as time goes on.
Running when you are unwell
Running when you are unwell puts extra load on your immune system when it is already fighting the illness, weakening your defences and putting you at risk of an overuse injury.
SOLUTION: Just stop! The average illnesses that do the rounds every year, such as colds, coughs, and stomach bugs rarely last long enough to make a major dent in your training plan.
Running when you are over tired
We all have rough nights, but consistently poor sleep can lead to an increased risk of injuries such as stress fractures.
SOLUTION: Make sure you are getting enough sleep so your body can regenerate. There are many resources out there to help you with sleep problems.
Returning to running too soon after an injury
It is natural to want to get back after a long layoff but stressing the injured tissue before it is sufficiently recovered can lead to a repeat of the original injury, or an unnecessarily prolonged recovery.
SOLUTION: Make sure you have put enough work into strengthening the injured area, and work with your therapist to ensure you have a graded safe return to running.
Allowing insufficient time to train up for a major running event
Arriving at the start line with insufficient training for that event will, at best, give you a miserable time and, at worst, lead to an injury as your body is not conditioned for the event.
SOLUTION: Make sure you have a sensible training plan with realistic goals for the event you are running.
Back to back training sessions with insufficient recovery
Recovery days are not for wimps, they are an essential part of a healthy training schedule, allowing time for the body to regenerate after a tough session.
SOLUTION: If doing back-to-back sessions, always follow a tough day with an easy day.
Sudden changes in training loads, footwear and running surfaces
Sudden changes in training loads, footwear or running surfaces without allowing sufficient time for the body to adapt can increase the risk of overuse injury as loads are increased in different areas of the body.
SOLUTION: Make all changes gradually over time, and you should be fine!
Insufficient taper before or after an endurance running event
Arriving at the start line of an endurance running event, such as a marathon or half marathon, in a fatigued state with the body insufficiently prepared due to high training loads close to the event can mean a decrease in performance and a higher risk of injury. Endurance running events put a high load on our body systems and insufficient rest after the event trying to run with a weakened system can lead to injuries.
SOLUTION: Decent training plans should always contain a taper as part of the plan. Rest periods after an event vary from person to person, but the best advice is to listen to your body and ease yourself back in when you feel ready.