I get asked many times how do I keep injury free and maintain fitness. Well there is a lot of factors which all go in piece by piece in staying injury free. Many people get intimidated by the gym, feel like it won’t benefit them and will bulk up. If you do it right you will have huge benefits and you wont bulk up unless you want to.
Many runners neglect this area and as a result have too many injuries and become injury prone to their frustration. When I took up running just over four years ago I was always getting injuries and found I was not doing the right stuff in the gym. It is a myth when people say my legs are strong from just running.
Firstly strength training, no matter what time of the year, on a weekly basis I hit the gym and work my muscles in my body. I neglected my core and glutes in the early days of running which resulted in many injuries and at one point nearly gave up. Hitting the gym at least once a week, has kept the injuries at bay and kept me in shape. When I see my physio (Andy Buckley from Team Buckley)for a routine check up and massage he always tells me that I am one of the few people that still does the exercises for injuries regardless if I am fully fit. Many runners go back injured as a result of not doing the exercises when they are better.
Making the core strong is a must, not only does it give you better posture and better technique it also prevents many potential injures. By neglecting your core it can effect you in a number of ways such as back pain, muscle imbalance, poor posture etc. The power from most body movements comes from your core so really effects nearly everything you do. Improving your core will not only reduce the risk of injury but improve your fitness and strength. So I recommend looking up core excises. Weak glutes can also be a huge problem and again causes injuries. Part of the problem with weak glutes is that they are not very active as other running muscles. So squats can help.
Doing too much too soon or overdoing it is something people do a lot, It is vital to get enough rest days in your plan and to back off if your body is telling you not to do it. I have learnt the hard way and now listen to my body. I suppose its all down to experience.
Having a regular massage or physio appointment is an important part of my schedule. You may think why? Well because whilst your training you can get all sorts of muscle imbalances and it’s best to correct this or loosen you off before injuries start to appear. I also use massage products to keep me loose such as the WellBrix blocks.
I stretch twice a day, EVERYDAY. Even if I am not training and it’s a rest day, I will stretch in the morning and in the evening. If its on a training day it will be more as I stretch after training as well. Sometimes I can spend a while stretching, I know this takes time up but it keeps me injury free.
Getting my feet looked at
A couple of time a year I go and see a Podiatrist. My feet get sore throughout a course of a year and doing this has helped. I get the hard skin taken away and any other problems sorted. My feet feel refreshed after it.
As you may be aware I use Dom’s Ease Oil and they are one of my sponsors. Since using these products I have found that because they are all natural, I have recovered at a faster rate and allows me to push to my limits in training and races. I use both products the sports ease blend and muscle ease oil blend and even when I am having a sports massage I use these products.
The Muscle Ease Oils & Sports Ease Oils are used by a number of personal trainers, gym users, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, boxers, dancers, cyclists, footballers, golfers, bodybuilders, physiotherapists and anyone who regularly exercises. These products are used to prevent DOMS. (Delayed onset muscle soreness) DOMS, most people will experience this. It results in pain and stiffness which is felt in muscles hours after strenuous exercise. It is mostly felt at its strongest 24 to 72 hours after the exercise.
I use the Sports Ease Blend for warming up my muscles before a session; it also smells nice. I have found that I am able to get ready for my reps at a quicker rate then before as the muscles are already warm. Of course you still need a warm up. The other product, the Muscle Ease Oil and Blend I use on rest days in the bath or after a hard work out so I am not sore the next day. I also use this one in my massages. I do highly recommend these products as it keeps DOMS to a minimal for me.
All of the above help me stay injury free and are in my weekly plan.