Fulfilling The Commitment: Getting You To The Starting Line For the Fernleigh 15 Fit & Injury Free

With the Fernleigh 15 being run on Sunday, October 22, you should already be gearing yourself up so you are ready to run injury free on the day. The last thing you want is to pull up injured on the gentle slope up to the tunnel, or out of the run before heading downhill from Whitebridge. So, what do you need to do to ensure you are fit and injury free?

Top 5 Ways To Run Injury Free

• Train Progressively
: If you are new to running, or have never run 15km before, we do not recommend heading out the door today, to run 10km at your first go; that is asking for injury issues. If you are a seasoned runner, then it goes without saying that you increase the distance gradually, particularly if you haven’t been running for a while. Yet, some runners still push themselves too quickly, running at a pace that cannot be sustained. By allowing your muscles to gain strength and endurance over time, you will minimise your risk of injury. Keep it moderate, and you will be ok and good for October.

In the coming weeks keep an eye on the website for a detailed training guide that embraces the progressive loading approach.

• Technique: Poor form or technique causes most of the common injuries. We will cover them later, but injuries such as Achilles Tendinopathy, runner’s knee and iliotibial band syndrome are your running enemy. Avoiding these common injuries are the key to fulfilling your goal of a personal best time or just finishing the race. The most common running technique we see clinically is overstriding. Your foot should fall directly beneath your centre of mass, not in front of it. Overstriding can lead to a range of injuries so it is important to have your running technique assessed and addressed. Other issues are improper arm swinging, bad posture, and excessive movement vertically.

• Warm up/cool down: Too often you will see a runner cross the finish line, or end their road run of an evening and walk straight into their house, without cooling down. You should be following a simple warm down regime which involves some walking, some light stretching and a range of movement exercises. Just like cooling down, warming up is an important factor that is often forgotten. You need to prime your musculoskeletal system to be ready for the requirements of your race. This can include some stretching, light skipping, technique drills and a light jog.

• Hydrate Properly: You want to make it to the first water station, right? The first one is going to be 3km from the start, at the traffic lights in Kahibah. You don’t want to be gasping for liquid before this, so get your hydration correct. Don’t forget we are heading back into the warmer weather in October, so you don’t want to end up dehydrated, or suffering from heat illness. These are easily avoided by consuming a sports drink, which contains sodium and electrolytes. Experiment with hydration during your training lead up, understand how much hydration your body needs before and during a 15km race effort and remember the old rule: don’t try anything new on race day.

• Rest & Recovery: Quite simple really. There is an old saying: “Rest as hard as you train.” Recovery is possibly one of the most important facets of training that is often overlooked, in the search for short term gains. Your body needs to recover to become stronger. Sleep, massage (such as foam rolling), mediation, low impact activity (such as swimming or cross training), dry needling and yoga are all great examples of recovery. As a runner, you need to be well aware of the warning signs that your body gives you to indicate fatigue to avoid injury or illness.

Part two of our Fernleigh 15 blog will address some of the most common running injuries, what to look for, how to avoid them and when to seek professional help.