Spring and Summer are a fantastic time to get the competitive juices flowing by signing up for various races and challenges in and around the city. Maybe it’s your first 5k, your second marathon of the summer or a community triathlon, either way, you’ll want to be ready for it.
In addition to the obvious…which is training properly for the event, we’ve compiled a list of a few more things that can help.
Gait Analysis: Have your gait looked at to determine if there are any corrective measures you can take. Orthotics can be a game-changer for many a runner especially if you have excess pronation, suffer from plantar fasciitis or in general, just have poor foot biomechanics.
See a Running Expert: Calgary is home to a very strong running community so you’ll definitely be able to find someone who can analyze your form and help you make injury-preventing corrections. One great example is Solo Sport Systems in Calgary.
Listen to Your Body: Not just in running, but in everyday life. This is advice we always give to our patients for injury prevention. If there’s pain, don’t dismiss it. We recommend you take quick action to nip the problem in the bud by seeing your practitioner as soon as possible before the pain bumps you out of the race completely.
Just RICE it!: Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. As soon as the injury happens RICE it for 10-15 minutes, several times a day. In addition to this, be sure to protect the area with crutches, rest, and avoidance of activities that cause pain in the area.
Stay Positive: Sounds simple enough right? This can be a challenge for many, especially if you've been taken away from an activity that you love. Focus on some brain conditioning during this time to help you achieve the best possible recovery by remaining optimistic and confident in your ability to recover.
See a Chiropractor: A chiropractic adjustment can help ensure there is the proper alignment of your spine and pelvis leading up to the big race. Active Release Therapy can also play a role in loosening up tight muscles by breaking up restrictive adhesions, allowing your movement to be more fluid and pain-free.
Visit an MAT Specialist: MAT stands for Muscle Activation Technique. This technique can assess and correct muscular imbalances, and instability of joints, and help correct any difficulties with a range of motion allowing your muscles to move, fire, and function at their very best.
Book in for Chiropractic, Active Release Therapy, a foot analysis to see if Orthotics are right for you, or MAT right here at Active Sports Therapy.
*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Avoiding Winter Running Injuries
[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Active Sports Therapy
A little snow and ice typically will not get in the way of a die-hard runners’ training schedule. In an effort to keep fitness levels up, and specific running muscles toned, runners who are training for upcoming events will often brave the cold as they work toward their goals. Since the terrain and technique differ in the winter time, we often see different injuries than we do in the summer time from our running clientele.
The common winter running injuries that we see at Active Sports Therapy are:
Knee strains and sprains
Acting up of plantar faciitis
Groin pulls from slips
Overuse injuries in the feet and ankles
To keep running in winter from being too stressful on your body, keep the following tips in mind:
KEEP YOU BODY NICE AND WARM
Watch the forecast and do try to pick days that are a bit less frigid to head out for run. If your schedule permits you can try to schedule your jog for the sunny parts of day versus early morning or evening.
Since cold muscles are much more susceptible to injury you’ll have to make sure you’ve got the right gear. Moisture wicking socks, specially made winter running shoes, winter running tights or thermal leggings with wind pants overtop to protect you from the winter winds. You’ll need a couple of layers on top and of course a hat to prevent losing heat out of the top of your head. Keeping your muscles warm will make them less likely to experience a tear or injury.
PREPARE FOR THE GROUND CONDITIONS
Uneven ground with snow-packed and slippery sections lends itself well to injuries like groin pulls, slips, and falls. The ground is also harder in the winter time, and some folks will develop knee pain or lower leg and foot injuries. For this, ensure your shoes are replaced on a regular basis and consider wearing extra winter grips that slip over top of your shoes so you don’t find yourself doing the splits on the running path. Depending on the shoe, the foam in your shoes can freeze and harden making the impact on your body feel even greater.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF – IS YOUR STRIDE LENGTH DIFFERENT IN WINTER?
Many runners will find that they widen their stance and take shorter, choppier strides in order to maintain balance in slippery winter conditions. This type of stride will have more impact on your hip flexors than your typical long summer strides. Therefore you may find you need to stretch these muscles both before and after your run. (Not to mention of course your regular full set of muscle stretches).
CONSIDER A FACE MASK
If you’re prone to coughing, have allergies, or have dry lungs, consider purchasing a lightweight running mask to help keep the air near your face warmer. You can find great products designed for winter running or even the ones designed for cross-country skiers can be a great solution.
Just because you’re cold, it does not mean that you’re not sweating and losing water the same way you do in summer. Make sure you drink up and stay hydrated.
We are a leading sports injury clinic in Calgary and can treat your running and sport injuries using Chiropractic, Active Release Techniques, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and more.