Just before a few hundred of us head to the Northern Berg for the first Run the Berg challenge, we asked the experts at Adventure Physio for some tips on keeping the body working when running a long way on difficult trails. Here are their rules of thumb for prevention of injury.
1. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Always listen you your body and stop when you feel any form of pain or discomfort. Rest for 3-5 days. Very often you can replace running with cycling/swimming/walking. When starting again, go at a slower pace than you’re used to and for a shorter distance to ease back into it. If the pain persists, seek medical attention – like physiotherapy.
2. WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES
Shoes are very important. Wear a good quality trail running shoe and get your feet evaluated to make sure you buy the right shoe for your feet. (Do you know if you’re a pronator/supinator/neutral runner?)
3. ANKLE STABILITY IS KEY
Consider balance training to improve ankle stability and decrease ankle sprains. Your physiotherapist will give you a programme tailored to your needs. Typical exercises include:
Balancing on 1 leg on a flat surface, progressing to an uneven surface.
1-leg squats with eyes open, progressing to eyes closed.
Wobble board balancing.
4. CORE STABILITY
Beefing up your core stability is an important way to improve running biomechanics and correct any imbalances that may lead to injury. Make sure you activate your core muscles before any exercise and during running (if you are not sure about the correct way to activate, ask a professional for help).
5. STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH
Never underestimate the importance of stretching! Make sure to stretch after every run and hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds. Another alternative to stretching is the foam roller, rolling each muscle for 90 seconds at the most.
Happy running, The AdventurePhysio team
*Contact Adventure Physio to book your session at Run the Berg (they will also be at registration to do strapping): [email protected]