Beginner Runner

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Sport Injury


Sport and recreation participation is encouraged for a number of reasons including the enhancement of physical and mental health. However, participation in sport and recreation activities also increases exposure to the potential hazards and risks associated with such activities. As more people participate in sport and recreation it is important to ensure the potential for injury and accidents is minimised.

Hydration During Sports

Sporting activity obviously increases the core body temperature. On average a runner will expend 500-1500 kcal/hr depending on the experience and fitness of the runner. Body metabolism means that energy produced is 25% efficient. 75% of energy is used for the production of heat; this can be difficult during summer running.

We recommend you drink adequate fluid 30-45 minutes before running and then a cupful every 10-15 minutes. Experts have recommended 6-8 oz every 20 minutes while you run. Most popular sports drinks have a low level of electrolytes and also carbohydrates to helps speed up glycogen replacement. After exercise you should try and drink more water than necessary to speed up recovery.

Some runners prefer the taste of sports drinks in comparison to plain water. Experts have also recommended the use of carbohydrate protein drinks or milkshakes to rapidly replenish glycogen stores after a run. These drinks also help to catabolize muscles for energy and help muscles repair quickly after a run. The above advice can be used for all types of running conditions but is especially important during summer running. This is due to the warmer environment deplenishing glycogen stores more quickly. In most cases runners suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion due to poor hydration.

Acclimatization

It is advisable to gradually build up your tolerance for running on roads in warmer conditions. To acclimatize to the heat you should spend 1-2 weeks running from 2-6 miles a day and then gradually building up your mileage in the heat. You may wish to run in the morning or late evening when the humidity is at its lowest. Alternatively if you are worried about your personal safety then a treadmill in an air conditioned gym may a safer option.

Miscellaneous Tips

• Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn to your skin.
• Replace running shoes every 300-400 miles.
• Do not break in new running shoes before you race or before a long run.
• Make sure you wear you running socks when you are buying running shoes.
• Try and wear synthetic fibre socks which will help to evaporate moisture away from your skin and prevent blisters.
• Control excessive foot sweating during summer running.
• Wear light weight shorts and t-shirts to allow for evaporation of moisture.
• Monitor any medical conditions you may have such as high blood pressure. Certain conditions can increase by summer running.
DO NOT over estimate your fitness, have realistic running targets.

It used to be that all runners stretched before they ran, and then there was a big debate. So now a lot of runners don’t stretch. If you’re a beginning runner, what is the answer: should you stretch before you run?

No, if you are not going to stretch correctly. Improper stretching is the second leading cause of running injuries to both runners who do not stretch very much and to those who spend an inordinate amount of time. Studies have shown that morning runners become injured more often than noontime and evening runners, which suggests that it is dangerous to stretch cold muscles. It is hard to stretch muscles that are not loosened and warmed up and you take the risk of tearing a muscle. A thorough warm-up before stretching, or postponing stretching till later in the day, may reduce the risk of injury. Be very gentle when stretching prior to a run. If you have had achilles tendonitis or tight calf muscles, you might find it helpful to stretch about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile into your run. The muscles will have warmed up and will be better prepared to be stretched. You also have to be careful about how you stretch. You should never bounce while stretching because you could tear or pull the muscle you are trying to stretch. Also avoid stretching too quickly, as the muscle will respond with a strong contraction and increase tension. Do not stretch beyond the point where you begin to feel tightness in the muscle, do not push through muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of discomfort or pain.

So now that you know how not to stretch, how do you stretch? Well, first of all you should know the benefits of stretching. Many experts agree that stretching reduces muscle soreness after running and results in better athletic performance. Gentle stretching after a race or intense workout can also promote healing and lactic acid removal from the muscles. Stretching is most effective when performed several times each week; a minimum of one stretching session per week is sufficient to maintain flexibility. A predominance of coaches and runners believe in stretching before and after every workout. Thus, a typical workout starts with a 10- to 20-minute warm-up, followed by 10-20 minutes of stretching, the main course, a post-workout stretch and a warm-down jog.


Always remember to stretch slowly in order to avoid the contraction reflex. By doing so, muscle tension falls, and you may stretch the muscle further. Hold the stretch for 30 to 40 seconds. You should try to build stretching into your regular schedule both before and after your daily run. A good program should include stretches for the calves, shins, hips, buttocks and thighs.


The miniumum strecthing before your run should be at least three types of wall pushup's, the hamstring stretch, the heel-to-buttock stretch, and the groin stretch.

1. Wall Pushup #1

Stand about three feet from a wall, feet at shoulder width and flat on the ground. Put your hands on the wall with your arms straight for support. Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch your calves.


2. Wall Pushup #2

From the previous position, bend forward to lower your body to waist height. Bring one foot forward with your knee slightly bent. Lift the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the calf. Stretch both legs.


3. Wall Pushup #3

Put your feet together, rocking back on your heels with your hands on the wall and your arms straight to form a jackknife with your body. This stretches your hips, shoulders, and lower back.

4. Hamstring Stretch

Lie down with one leg straight up in the air, the other bent with foot flat on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot. Push only to the point where your muscles contract. Stretch both legs.

5. Heel To Buttock

Stand on one foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible), stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout. Change legs and repeat.

6. Groin Stretch

Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your knees toward the ground.

 

 

 


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