Most runners think that to improve their running, they just need to run more. While this is a good start, you need to ensure that your body is strong enough to handle the load you are putting it under. Upon assessment most people with running injuries have muscle weakness or imbalances that are contributing to extra stress being placed on the muscles, tendons and joints.
Strength and conditioning will build up you muscle strength and endurance. Not only will this make you resilient against running injuries, it will help you run faster, further and more frequently. It also has stacks of other benefits including: maintaining flexibility and balance, weight management, increased bone density and improved sense of wellbeing.
How to run faster and further with strength training?
There are lots of different ways to do strength training. The best method depends on your individual goals, experience and needs. If you run long distance you may want to be focusing on endurace vs a 100m sprinter who may want to focus on power training. Out of competition season you might work more on muscle hypertrophy and in season more on racing and moving fast. If you have never done strength training it is important to complete and initial phase of training to strength train, whereas an experienced gym goer will be able to undertake more complex training. Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription and will be able to guide you on how to get the most benefit out of your sessions, whilst taking into consideration any injuries or limitations you may have.
How to prevent and treat injuries with strength training?
For a running specific strength program it is important to target key running muscles. You wanting to ensure you are doing something for glutes, hamstrings and calves. Adductors, hip flexors, quads and core can also be included. Your specific goals, the type of running you do and any current/previous injuries will guide an individually tailored program designed by a physiotherapist. For example: if you are returning to sport after a hamstring injury, your program will include lots of extra hamstring work or if you are doing lots of change of direction/agility running then hip stabilising muscles and adductors become more important.
Level 1 circuit at home easy
Level 2 circuit at home hard
Level 3 circuit gym
How Physiotherapy can help
When you book in for a sports physiotherapy consultation to manage your running injury, your physiotherapist will:
Assess and accurately diagnose your injury
Provide treatments to reduce pain immediately
Assess the underlying cause of your injury: training errors, muscle weakness or poor technique
Provide treatment to address the cause by: assisting you with a return to running program that manages your load appropriately, a strength and conditioning program to target your weaknesses and any technique tips or drills to improve your running efficiency.
Remember: Prevention is better than the cure! If you want to take your running to the next level, book in and have an injury prevention screening. You will be able to run further, faster more frequently and best of all, pain free!
If you have sustained an injury from playing tennis or are just keen on a targeted, individualised injury prevention program book in with one of our Physiotherapists today!
Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy
Melbourne Sports Physio has a range of qualified and experienced professionals who can help provide ongoing support and treatment. Our friendly team are located in across Melbourne in Essendon, North Melbourne and Blackburn South, and appointments can be made by calling or booking online.