Why is Cross Training so important?
Cross training is training that supplements your running activity. It exercises your other muscles while giving your running muscles some rest. It can improve your cardio vascular strength. At Runner's High we cross train in the form of Strength Training and Yoga.
Cross training helps in muscle balance as it helps the weaker muscles strengthen . This prevents injury to a great extent.
Can I do yoga in the evenings , after a run (especially long run or interval training)?
Yoga can be done after a long run, as yoga stretches will diminish the soreness in your body. However, yoga has to be done in moderation . One should not do strenuous repeated postures like the surya namaskar after a long run.
How do I use a Foam Roller?
After rigorous running workout like long runs or a speed run we find runners having tight quads, hamstring, calves, IT bands etc and this tightness usually does not completely release even after stretching. If runners continue to run with these tight muscles it leads to injuries. Using a foam roller with individual's own body weight, one can perform self-massage on the tight muscles. Benefits of a foam roller usage is similar to deep- tissue massage with benefits such as stretching muscles, decreasing muscle tension, releasing trigger points and increasing blood flow.
More details on how to use a Foam Roller effectively can be found here
Here is a video to demonstrate the use of the foam roller:
Foam rollers are the best but if they are not accessible then the same stretches could be performed using a rollng pin or tennis ball. Contact your Coach or Physio if you plan to stretch using these alternates as they can demonstrate the correct method of stretching.
What is Runner's Knee injury?
Runner's Knee is a common complaint among long-distance runners. Soreness is around and sometimes behind the kneecap. It's usually aggravated by running or climbing stairs. Knee may feel stiff and sore after sitting down for long periods. You might even hear a clicking sound when you bend or extend your knee. Runner's knee is usually caused by weakness in the middle quadriceps muscles (Vastus Medialis) and tight hamstrings or IT bands. You may also be at risk if you overpronate (your feet roll inward) when you run.
Pain on the outside of the knee when running. No (or very little) pain otherwise. Pain on the outside of the knee when walking down a flight of stairs.
Prevention and Cure:
First, you can reduce the pain and inflammation by icing your knees immediately after running. Work on strengthening your quad muscles, which will help support and stabilize your kneecap. Stretching hamstrings and IT bands will also help. Make sure you have the right kind of running shoes for your foot type. Also, make sure you're not running in worn-out shoes. Other factors that add to prevention are performing all required stretches after a run, strengthening of the glutes, istrengthening of the hipss,"Ironing out" your running muscles with a foam roller after a run.
If you are prone to runner's knee, ensure that you run in the middle of "crowned" roads (roads that slope up towards the centre) whenever possible.
During the initial period of injury, do icing outside of the thigh (right from the hip down to the knee) as often as 3-4 times daily. As the symptoms reduce, perform more of the foam-roller work and IT-band stretches and strengthening.
What, in general, will most help me in overcoming my injuries?
Icing is an effective technique for quick recovery from soreness and faster rehabilitation after injury. In general for body soreness, we would recommend a nice ice bath! Load a huge drum or a bathtub with lots of ice and cold water. Get into it neck deep for 10-12 minutes and then rinse with warm water. You could addepsom salt to the cold bath for a refreshing experience (tt also helps rehydrate and recover fast).
If you are icing a specific muscle or area for an injury or severe pain, the PRICE technique is very effective.
"PRICE" treatment: P - Protection, R - Restrict activity, I- apply Ice, C- apply Compression, E- Elevate the injured area
The PRICE principle limits the amount of swelling at the injury and improves the healing process. Activity restriction for 48 to 72 hours will allow the healing process to begin. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 mins every 60 to 90 mins. Elevating the limb will also keep the swelling to a minimum.
Most of running injuries are also due to muscle weakness /imbalance and strenthening these muscles will help mitigate injuries in the long term.
What are the muscles groups that should be strengthened to overcome muscle weakness/ imbalances in runners?
Muscle weakness /imbalance in runners can be overcome by doing upper and lower-extremity and core strength training as a routine. Runners should perform strength training for the following muscle groups:
- Quadriceps, hamstrings, hips (squats, dead lifts, and lunges)
- Calves (heel raises)
- Shoulders (shoulder shrugs)
- Upper back (dumbbell rows)
- Chest (push-ups)
- Biceps (curls)
- Triceps (triceps kickbacks)
- Lower back (extension: lie on stomach and lift feet and arms off ground)
I have an injury; should I see a physio/doctor immediately?
Start with the PRICE Protocol which is actually a first aid for soft tissue injuries. Cold provides short-term pain relief and also limits swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area. When icing injuries, never apply ice directly to the skin and never leave ice on an injury for more than 20 minutes at a time. Longer exposure can damage your skin and even result in frostbite. A good rule is to apply cold compresses for 10 to 12 minutes and then leave them off long enough for the skin to re-warm.
Compression: Compression helps limit and reduce swelling. An easy way to compress the area of the injury is to wrap a crepe bandage around the swollen part. If you feel throbbing, or if the wrap just feels too tight, remove the bandage and re- wrap the area so the bandage is a little looser.
Elevation: Elevating an injury help control swelling. It's most effective when the injured area is raised above the level of the heart. For example, if you injure an ankle, try lying on your bed with your foot propped on one or two pillows.
After a day or two of treatment, many sprains, strains or other injuries will begin to heal. But if your pain or swelling does not decrease after 48 hours, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Gentle stretching can be commenced after all swelling has subsided. Try to work the entire range of motion of the injured joint or muscle, but be extremely careful not to force a stretch, or you risk re-injury to the area. Finally, after the injury has healed, strengthening exercises can be begun.
I have shin pain!! What do I do?
This pain around shin area is called shin splints. The term shin splints refers to pain along the shin bone (tibia) - the large bone in the front of your lower leg. Shin splints are quite common in runners.
Medically known as medial tibial stress syndrome, shin splints often occur in runners who have recently intensified or changed their training routines. The increased activity overworks the muscles, tendons and bone tissue.
Most cases of shin splints can be treated with rest, ice and other self-care measures. Wearing proper footwear and modifying your exercise routine can help prevent shin splints from recurring.
You can get more information here related to shin trouble, how to treat it, etc:
The iliotibial band (IT band) is also known as the iliotibial tract or Maissiat’s band. It’s a long piece of connective tissue, or fascia, that runs along the outside of your leg from the hip to the knee and shinbone. The IT band helps to extend, abduct, and rotate your hip. It also helps to stabilize and move the side of your knee while protecting the outer thigh.
IT band syndrome (ITBS) is a common lateral knee injury. Overuse and repetitive flexion and extension of the knees usually cause this type of injury. It occurs when the IT band becomes tight, irritated, or inflamed. This tightness causes friction on the outside of the knee when bending, which is painful. Sometimes it causes referred hip pain. ITBS is caused by excessive friction from the IT band being overly tight and rubbing against bone. It’s primarily an overuse injury from repetitive movements. ITBS causes friction, irritation, and pain when moving the knee.
Certain exercises and stretches can help heal ITB syndrome by improving flexibility and strengthening the muscles surrounding your IT band. These exercises can also prevent further issues.
Here are five IT band exercises to get you started. Try doing these for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.