My name is Shawn Swartz, Physiotherapist at Rebound Sport and Spine Clinic in Langley. At Rebound, I work with a big population of runners with diverse experience levels. In this blog post I wanted to share 5 running related tips that I give to all of my running clients when working with them in clinic.
Increase your step Rate
Various different high-quality studies have shown that just a 5% increase in your step rate relative to your comfortable cadence can lead to a 20% reduction energy through your knee’s (Heiderscheit et al. 2011).
When we think of step rate or Cadence may believe this means running faster, try to think of it as shortening your strides. At the end of the day its great to have the ability to shift your step rate depending on your terrain, intensity, and how you’re generally feeling that day. Become a well rounded runner!
Walk before you can run
When ever you’re coming back from an injury or have taken a significant break from the demands of running its always a good idea to challenge yourself with a brisk walk on rolling terrain……. at least 45mins. If you can’t tolerate this pain free, then you likely don’t have the capacity to start running safely at this point and may prolong your injury. Be smart and seek consultation with your Chiropractor or Physiotherapist.
Importance of Rest days
This is something that is often overlooked but very important aspect of keeping the ecosystem happy and recovering well from the demands of running. If you have been training consistently/progressively there may be days that your body may feel discomfort or like it may be starting to burn out. If you are in doubt of how you are feeling my suggestion to my patients is take a day off running. Do something else.
This can be difficult to do for many, especially when you are leading up to a goal/race. Just remember you didn’t build toward that goal in 1 day so you wont lose it in 1 day either.
Do what feels controlled and comfortable
Don’t get caught up about running on your heels or running more on your toes because all the foot strike patterns (forefoot/midfoot/heel striker) work until they don’t. Each pattern has its own areas that they may place more force through but there is no research showing that one running pattern is be better than the other. My suggestion to my patients are to learn how to perform all 3 comfortably. Become a well rounded runner.
If you are injured or have a history of injuries its important to get a consultation with an experienced clinician as they will be able to give guidance to return to running gradually.
Add some Resistance training to the mix
I know that runners love to run and then run some more but it’s important to diversify your activity. If you are going to do anything else besides running, make sure its Resistance training. Yes, even over performing Static stretching/foam rolling!
Not only does strength training help protect from running related injuries, but it also improves your time to exhaustion, running economy, and strength. (Storen et al.2008; Lauersen et al. 2014)
Shawn Swartz, Physiotherapist
Rebound Sport and Spine Clinic