26 Mar Lauren’s 6 Top Tips for Running Without Pain
Our Chiropractor Lauren completed the Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon in March without any niggles – hurray!
As marathon season is upon us here are some running tips from Lauren to help you with your training!
Does running cause you pain?
Running is an amazing exercise to get your heart pumping, lose weight, get outdoors in the fresh air and release those much-needed happy hormones. However, whether you’re running 5 minutes on a treadmill or training outdoors for a marathon – it’s vital you are doing it in the correct form. Here are some tips to take on board to help prevent future injuries or back, hip, knee or foot pain.
- Warm Up
It is important to warm up your muscles before going straight into a high-paced run to prevent ligament sprains or muscle strains.
Walk 3-5 minutes and do dynamic stretches such as lunges to get your legs warmed up prior to a run.
Arch supporting quality running trainers are vital. Shock absorbance is key so you’re not putting too much force through your joints when running, which can over time cause injuries or pain. Ground reaction forces can particularly put pressure through your hip and knee joints.
Different brands and types of shoes suit different people depending on how you run and the distance you run.
Visit a knowledgeable running shop where they can observe you running on a treadmill, assess your gait and advise accordingly.
- Correct Running Form
Foot Striking Method
It is really important how your feet strike the ground when running.
You should try not to land on your heel when you run as this puts unnatural force onto the heel and increased tension and force on the joints, leading to pain.
The best foot strike method is landing on your forefoot (toes and balls of your feet) then rolling onto your mid-foot. This distributes the tension more equally around the foot and engages the muscles on the feet strengthening them, decreasing stresses on the body.
Run Tall! Aim to keep your entire body in a straight line. Hold yourself upright, don’t bend at the waist. This means your hip muscles are functioning at the most optimal position, reducing pain and potential injury.
Eyes Looking forward not down at the ground as this puts pressure on the upper spine.
Shoulders Relaxed and not slouching. This puts less pressure on the chest allowing you to breathe deeper and easier and less tension on your upper back and shoulders which can lead to pain.
Arms Relaxed Don’t hold an iPod or phone in one hand when running and listening to music as this leads to one arm moving less than the other. The asymmetry will put more pressure on your shoulders and back. Opt for an arm band or bum bag for your music playing device.
Align your hips directly below the torso pointing straight ahead.
Lean forward at your ankles rather than your waist – it helps propel you forward more efficiently.
Static stretching should be done after a run not pre-run. Pre-run static stretching has been linked to injury.
Five minutes of stretching should always be done after a run to keep your muscles and ligaments mobile. The main focus areas for runners should be gluteus muscles, hamstrings and quadriceps together with stretching out your hips.
Every runner should own a foam roller! Slowly rolling on these muscle groups will help break up muscle adhesions called trigger points and reduce muscle tightness that can develop after a run.
If you’re unsure on the best way to stretch these muscles speak to your Chiropractor for advice!
Breathing correctly can help release tension in your upper back and shoulders when running.
Mouth vs. Nose – Breathing through the mouth rather than your nose relaxes the jaw, which decreases tension throughout your body.
Chest vs. Stomach– Breathing heavily through your chest tightens muscles and increases tension in your neck, shoulders and back.
Pace your breathing using your stomach i.e. your diaphragm which allows the lungs to fully expand and allows lots of oxygen to be pumped round your body and muscle cells decreasing fatigue.
If you’re a regular runner it could be a good idea to get checked over by your Chiropractor. Regular adjustments could help to keep you mobile and functioning at your best.
New to running or chiropractic? The main cause of pain is normally due to your posture, muscle imbalances and your gait (how you run through your feet).
Book in for an appointment today to see how we can get you running at your best!