How’s the training!
Congratulations to all who have a place in this year’s 2020 London Marathon.
I hope your training isn’t being affected by the recent bad weather and that you haven’t developed any injuries yet!
You probably feel you can run that little bit further than your training plan dictates (I hope you’re following the training plan!) but, I suggest you stick to the plan sent to you in your marathon pack!
Just this last week I have seen three people training for the London Marathon all with various running related injuries, from knee pain to lower back, hip, ankle and calf pain.
The two main reasons these injuries have come about in all three of these people is poor running technique and muscle imbalances in the hips and/or glutes.
Hips, Butt & Running Technique
I’m not going to go into too much detail here as this is a subject many therapists don’t agree on. For many years emphasis has been put on heel strike. Whilst this does have an impact, I feel we need to shift our focus upward to the hips and glutes, where the stride begins.
The foot is just the end of the kinetic whip (the leg). The core and hips are where every runner should be starting if they are really concerned with optimizing their form, maximizing their speed and minimizing injury potential. The key elements are balance and drive. Our torsos balance on our hips, and the hips are the fulcrums of the leg levers driving our bodies forward. If they are not working properly, the legs are unable to provide optimal power and speed. Many of us have trouble using them properly, resulting in all sorts of inefficiencies. The most common is over-stride: reaching forward and landing in front of the torso.
To have a hip drive like the elites requires not only mobility, but also strong, active glutes. The glutes are the most powerful, efficient movers for running, and failing to use them creates serious problems. A strong butt is the key to a great run.
If you are a heel striker (where your front foot lands heel first) then you are quite likely to develop some shin and/or knee pain. This is because every time your heel contacts the ground impact is sent shooting through your heel, up your leg into the knee via the shin bone (tibia) connecting the knee with the ankle. Normal walking can cause forces of 1.5 times your body weight across your knees, while running may impose forces as high as 4 to 5 times your weight. The more you weigh, the greater the magnitude of force and the greater your risk of injury.
If you want to learn more about running gait then have a look at the website www.Kinetic-Revolution.com.
These guys have loads of good articles about running form and injuries.
Too Much, Too Far, Too Soon
Being keen is admirable, but not when it comes to running. If you are new to distance running your body won’t be used to the sudden increase in training frequency. Running too far too soon or running on old injuries that have never been addressed puts you at high risk of multiple complications.
To avoid this, make sure you are putting as much importance on your Prehab/Injury prevention/mobility drills as you are your running. If you are serious about avoiding injuries this would be a good time for you to start having regular Sports Massage.
What Should You Do Now?
Come and See Us. We have experience with all sports and work with both elite and amateur runners in the London Marathon.
Book in for a sports massage today to help prevent or fix an injury before your London Marathon!
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