A few weeks ago I gave a talk about injury prevention to a group of our runners who are training towards half and full marathons. As long-distance runners, it is very important to train well and avoid getting hurt.
I discussed many points that most have heard before such as not building up training too quickly, warming up, cooling down properly, rest and recovery, strength training, good nutrition, etc.
In addition to this I spoke about the things you can do while you are not training that can affect your intrinsic biomechanics that can lead to niggles and pain:
- Avoid sitting for long periods – if you sit for long periods and add to that working in front of a computer you are at risk of muscles in your pelvis going into spasm (this is not painful but stops your muscle from relaxing). Then, when you run, your pelvis doesn’t move correctly and can lead to pains – for example in your knees, hips or back. Try not to sit for too long at a time and take every opportunity to move around. Take any opportunity to work at a standing desk.
- Take caution with wearing high heels – if you wear high heels then they can affect how you walk. Your body has to change and adapt to being in an unnatural position this in turn can lead to back pain. If you’re taking your high heels to work, my recommendation is to wear them only for show and kick them off when you’re sitting at your desk.
- Avoid carrying a bag on one shoulder – have a think of the position your shoulders are in when you carry a bag on one side. You become asymmetric and your body has to make small adjustments to make up for it. If you do this repetitively, eventually your muscles adapt to it in a negative way and can also lead to pains and stiffness. Try to carry a bag that sits on both shoulders or pull your bag on a trolley.
- Get smarter with smart phones – like sitting in front of a computer, repetitive use of a smart phone can roll the shoulders inwards causing spasm in the chest muscles restricting your arm swing.
- Better your sitting positions – for similar reasons as above, be careful of sitting constantly in asymmetric positions such as cross legged or one leg under your bum and be careful of how often you are slouching in front of the TV.
After the presentation I showed an exercise that the runners can do to release a muscle spasm in their pelvis (in case they are dealing with that), which could help them run more efficiently. I thought it might also be helpful to all of you, so I’ve made this little video explaining how it works. Apologies for the quality of the video! I hope it’s good enough though to serve its purpose :)
If you need more advice on how to make corrections to your body using muscle spasm releases, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.