We were all born to run and enjoyed running as children but over time our bodies forgot how to do so safely. Just like a golfer develops minor imperfections in their swing, we unknowingly develop faulty running mechanics. These small faults often start well before we take up running as a sport and are rarely corrected without help.
Our bodies can cope with these faults for a while and in this time our distances and speeds increase with fitness but unless the faults are corrected small imperfections lead to painful niggles. Niggles slowly turn into unbearable pain and we then have an important decision to make.
We can turn to:
- a new shoe
- a massage or manipulation
- a single physio session but failing to practice prescribed exercises
- compression wear
- pain killers or simply give up running until the pain stops.
These solutions may provide temporary relief allowing us to resume training with an all new level of motivation but the movement faults are still there. What’s worse, these faults have changed the ranges of motion we can acheive. Many joints have become very flexible in one direction but hopelessly tight in the other.
With enough running through muscle imbalances, faulty running mechanics and overly supportive running shoes our bodies learn new ways to mask the pains, further exacerbating the problems which spill over to daily life.
Faulty running mechanics are reversible and your running injuries can be rehabilitated and prevented. All of the aforementioned solutions have their place but need to be utilised in conjunction with:
- improved running mechanics
- balanced ranges of joint motion
- effective warm ups and cool-downs
- a view to progressing back towards natural running shoes
- safe rates of distance and speed progression over time
- recovery, moderate, hard and taper weeks
The good news is accessing these solutions has never been easier.
Professional Expertise solutions can include:
- Physiotherapists who can prescribe exercises to improve your mechanics and posture
- Chiropractors who can release joints which are too stuck to stretch back to normality
- Massage therapists who can find and release the knots in your muscles
- Running Coaches who can design programmes based on your ability and goals
- Podiatrists who can change the surface of your shoe’s insole to encourage improved foot control
- Personal Trainers who can progress physio exercises into fun routines which take prevention and performance to all new levels
- Yoga teachers who can help you perform a full body or specific mobility routines in less that 30-minutes and many more professionals, right here in Cheltenham.
Some quibble at the price these professionals charge to stay in business but finding people who teach you how to look after yourself (as opposed to simply treating and rebooking) will help you take control for yourself.
The Internet and Running Technology can now provide:
- affordable running gait analysis to find your faults
- GPS pacing to prevent you running too fast or far before you’re ready
- route mapping applications which allow you to scout a route which fits your purpose
- videos and articles teaching you how to free up muscles and joints
- natural running shoes which cost far less than the over supported, high technology shoes
- running programmes which prescribe speeds and distances to run at based on your actual ability
We’ve build up a strong team of professionals and system for ensuring safe but effective running progress. If you’d like to know about any of the topics mentioned don’t hesitate to ask.
We truly love running and dedicate ourselves to helping Cheltonians enjoy it without the enforced breaks through painful injury.