Coronavirus lockdown restrictions are easing in many countries and runners are finally able to test their mettle outside. However, as tempting as it is to navigate the roads and trails for hours on end, it may be wise to ease yourself back into the sport, especially with no races on the horizon.
Here are some tips to help you return to racing injury-free and faster than ever.
Don’t rush back into it
Avoid the temptation to rush back into your old programme. You might feel fresh and strong, but don’t be tempted to clock the same mileage or do the same volume of sprints as before. Your body might not be ready.
Most people pick up injuries because they do too much, too soon. Just because they’ve reached a certain level before the break in racing season, they automatically think they can get back to those same elevated ways straight away.
Reduce the number of kilometres and add some strength exercises to vary the load. It’s all about building that base again and getting the body right.
Strength training is not always fun, hence why it is often neglected by people. We all want to do exercises that we are good at, instead of the ones that are going to improve our weaknesses.
People like to keep to what they are good at, instead of minimising those frail areas. Even putting aside a small amount of time to build on these things will benefit your training.
Another thing to incorporate is some activation work before going to the gym or running outside. Having those muscles firing quickly allows them to work more efficiently and reduces the risk of injury.
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𝐌𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐩𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐝. Listening to alot of great podcasts on preparing for competition. Firstly and I am guilty of saying this! 𝘐𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘫𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 The action of stopping something from happening or arising. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘨𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘴. There is 𝐢𝐧𝐣𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 Reduction meaning 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵, 𝘥𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦, 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘪𝘻𝘦. 𝗪𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠. Take care of your body, get regular maintenance. Make sure you have balance in your movements. Make sure the correct muscles are doing the movements and you know how to jump and land properly, to name a few. 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 Simple. You can't build a house on sand. You need a STRONG foundation! Work the 𝐌𝐎𝐒𝐓 𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐀𝐍𝐓 muscle. The heart♥️ You can be as strong as you want. If your cardio is 💩 see ya🙋♂️ How often do you run steadily in a match? Exactly. The biggest bulk of running in pitch sports is 10m sprints. Power and speed is essential. Best way to get better sprinting? SPRINT 𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬 Lets us be honest. I know from playing gaelic football nearly 20 years I was half decent because I was fit, strong and fast. There should be time set aside for skills, do not get me wrong. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐚𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞. 𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐞 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. #Belfastfit #belfast #athletic #sports #compete #injuryreduction #stamina #power #skills
Mobility is key
Flexibility is important as an athlete, however, it is not the same as mobility. The latter is about range of motion, not just how far you can stretch a muscle.
A flexible person may or may not have the core strength or balance to perform the same functional movements as a person with greater mobility.
Hip mobility and ankle mobility are so important. If you have problems with your mobility, then it will lead to further injuries. If you are unsure of different exercises to introduce into your daily programme, check out YouTube or consult a friend for assistance.
Even though lockdown is easing, the race calendar is still sparse and there is no indication as to when certain events will resume.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to hit that level of fitness that you held prior to the pandemic.
Enjoy your running and take confidence from that fact that your best form will come back steadily over the next few weeks.
Whatever weaknesses or imbalances you have, now is the right time to strengthen them.