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  • Writer's pictureLife Made Simple Physio

Enthusiasm may abound…

…but be careful of the risk of injury by avoiding training errors.

We all have our preferences when it comes to exercise and fitness, and we appreciate that there are those who prefer not to take any action. Swimming, running, jogging and cycling as examples may be on the agenda and as the milder weather returns, enthusiasm may abound! However, it’s important to be careful in your approach and avoid potential training errors, as you will see. We have used below the example of running as an exercise, but the principle is likely sound for many other fitness programs.

A training error is when a runner increases their running volume and/or intensity too quickly, often due to preparation for an event or a new goal set by the individual. Such a rapid increase in running can cause a tissue overload, brought about solely by overuse.

There is a lot of information available for runners, aimed at helping individuals avoid injuries caused by training errors. But what information is correct or the most important to follow? Here is some basic guidance to start you off on a healthy and successful relationship with running.

Make sure you have a clear goal or objective for each run: Training using metrics such as heart rate, pace or power output are all valid objective measures and can be used to progress your training program appropriately.

Record your training; distance, time and effort should all be monitored. Documentation can be quick and easy. Under or overestimation of how much training you are doing can be detrimental.

Plan your training; a healthy and balanced training plan should include more than just high intensity activity. It should include strength training as this improves overall fitness, along with our ability to perform and avoid injuries. Plan approximate weekly mileage and establish how these miles will be allocated throughout the week. A mixture of high and low intensity activity should be included each week to avoid overuse.

The 10% rule has often been adopted by runners when increasing their running mileage. To remain injury free, it states that you should not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% over the previous week. This rule is sometimes hard to adhere to, therefore ensuring that no more than a 30% increase week on week is observed is a good rule of thumb. It is imperative that you remain sensitive to your body and the demands you place on it. Listen to it and progress should be linear and without problem.

Plan your recovery; do not overlook the importance of recovery weeks within your training plan. Recovery is not just rest, it also includes downtime with your friends and family, nutrition and sleep. Insufficient rest causes fatigue which in turn causes a decline in performance and increases your risk of injury.

A balanced, well thought through training program should be adaptable to take into account how much time, money and the facilities you have available to you.

We hope this helps to demonstrate that when it comes to running, more is not necessarily more. We know that training longer does not mean we will perform better or avoid injury. Through careful planning, you can optimize your time by running quality miles, whilst reducing your risk of injury, but still achieving your goals.

Speak to your fitness adviser / instructor / professional about your exercise plans to allow you to enjoy your fitness program. We can help signpost you to local experts if needed.

Contact Us

If you do struggle with strains and injuries, then we are here to help with your physiotherapy and massage / reflexology needs. If you are interested in our services feel free to call us on 07309 272 555 or email Life Made Simple - expert physiotherapy in Guildford and Surrey.

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