Take steps to avoid overuse injuriesJune 3, 2012
Proactive clients have been struck down by the June bug. Symptoms include running legs, marathon fever and soaring energy levels. Treatment involves entering as many gruelling endurance events as possible: Kokoda Challenge; Variety Club Hike; Brisbane, Gold Coast and Noosa half and full marathons. WARNING: side effects can include debilitating overuse injuries involving the hamstring tendon, plantar fascia and calf muscle.
So how can we curb, or even avoid, overuse injuries so often associated with endurance training and competition?
While changing shoes and experimenting with different stretches can aid prevention, I believe incorporating stair sessions into your training programme is the most effective approach.
Stair training helps strengthen your core (back, abdominal, glutes), placing less stress on the smaller muscles down the chain and thus preventing overuse calf tears, plantar fascia strains etc.
Simply find a substantial flight of stairs – Kangaroo Point cliffs, Wilston Hill, Jacobs’ Ladder in King Edward Park’s (CBD) or even your apartment’s stairwell – and follow these steps:
• take two steps in each stride
• land heel first, keeping toes relaxed
• turn knee out over outer three toes
• keep a tall back
• avoid grasping at railing
• start with 3-4 repetitions of each flight
• aim for 10-15 minutes without rest
• look out for signs of fatigue, i.e. grasping at railing, stumbling, gripping toes hard in shoes
• start with 15 minute sessions, building up to 25-30 minutes
As they say, prevention is better than cure, so take the steps to avoid overuse injuries and marathon season is sure to run a lot smoother. That’s physio’s orders!