A. Long distance running may be aggravating on the back, as it is an activity that involves repetitive impact and stress to the joints. It is critical that importance is placed on not only the abdominal muscles and back muscles but most importantly the balance of the leg muscles and pelvic stabilising muscles.
Q. Does running ever ease back pain?
A. Having good posture will aid correct and efficient running technique and will in turn prevent injuries. However, I have seen some people with awful postures and technique that just never seem to get injured. I am always amazed at the resilience of the human body. It’s a difficult question to answer really but running efficiently has an underlying biomechanical basis so we can only try and stick to this and hope I guess.
A. A good warm up and cool down is very important in preventing injuries. A warm up aims to increase heart rate, breathing rate and blood flow to the muscles, allowing you to work more efficiently and prepare the body for vigorous activity. Warm ups should vary depending on what type of training you will be completing. For example, for an everyday run, start by walking around the block, then progress slowly to your pace. Make sure you build your warm up slowly, and be aware that warm up may take longer if tired or sore. Prevention of injury when training I think comes from the correct physical, emotional, biomechanical and psychological preparation, these are all important factors and must not be forgotten.
A. Up until a few years ago, most sporting health professionals would advise regular runners or people training for marathons to have an ice bath or cold bath post long runs. However, new scientific evidence is now suggesting otherwise. An recent article in Athletics Weekly explains further. (http://www.athleticsweekly.com/coaching/ice-baths-a-miracle-recovery-method/). My advice??? Go for a long run, 10 miles for example, warm down, then get home and have a cold/ice bath for 10 minutes. The following week, repeat exactly the same running course and distance, warm down then go home and have a normal bath or shower, no cold/ice baths. See what difference, if any, you feel? I think each person is individual and what research says this week will change next week, try a few ways of recovering and see what works well for you.
1. Make sure you have a well structured active/dynamic warm up and you are organised with the start time so you don’t warm up too early then stand in the cold shivering! Equally make sure you leave yourself enough time! Warm up wearing old clothes on top of your race day clothes, so when you are about to start the race, you can remove your old clothes and leave them on the side of the road. Most established marathon races will have a Charity that your unwanted clothes are donated to.
3. Try and keep active post marathon. At most larger marathon events, you will not go and have a shower/bath whether hot or cold, as it will be in a city. Most runners will meet their loved ones after the race and go for food, sit and relax. But try not to sit down for too long, get up regularly and stretch the legs, otherwise you are at more risk of the storage of waste products in your muscles and will seize up. Wear fresh, dry clothes once you have finished your marathon to regain normal body temperature, also known as ‘Homeostasis.’ If you are running for a well estabilished charity, they will often have Sports Massage Therapists providing post marathon sports massage. This is a great opportunity, for you the help reduce the waste products accumulated in your muscles, gives you some mental and physical ‘downtime’ whilst you are relaxing on the massage couch too, time to rehydrate and eat. Take advantage, you deserve it!
5. Finally….. go and enjoy it! Feel blessed that you are able to train and compete in a marathon