Recreational Running – Topics to Consider New Farm Brisbane33585481

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Recreational Runners: Interesting facts regarding performance and injury.
Running as a way to gain fitness, reduce weight and build leg strength is one of the most effective choices available. Frequently I hear that people are put off from venturing into the sport by myths that it will “wreck your knees”, “that it is too hard” and that it will “lead to injuries”. Thankfully, the scientific community is constantly researching every aspect of the sport and to date, we can all be a bit more confident with how to make a start and improve over time. Here are a few interesting facts that may be helpful in enticing you out for a jog.
1. Walking breaks during a marathon are beneficial. German researchers (Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport) compared the performance of 2 groups who had undertaken similar pre-marathon training. One group ran the entire marathon while the other group had 60 second scheduled breaks every 25km. The study found that the group that included the short periods of walking finished with similar times and reported far less exhaustion.
2. Running won’t wreck your knees. The conventional wisdom is that running leads to knee arthritis. A study of 75000 runners found that provided they started with healthy knees, runners had no greater incidence of knee arthritis than non-runners even if they jogged into their 40’s and 50’s.
3. Treadmills can be an effective alternative. It is a widely held belief that treadmills are a bit of a soft option. The thought is that the moving belt helps propel you through the motion. Certainly, studies have shown that adding a 1% incline can negate the effects of the moving belt. Some trainers recommend using the treadmill in a similar fashion to using an exercise bike in a spin class. Mix it up, add incline, bursts of intensity and factor in some recovery. Variety is highly beneficial. One other advantage is that you are exercising indoors and in air-conditioned comfort!
4. Much has been written on the optimal diet for running long distances. There has been a recent push towards high protein diets. Such diets are not ideal when running long distances. As the distance increases, stores of carbohydrate give the body the fastest and most efficient way to supply energy and the amount of carbohydrate consumed should be proportional to the distance to be run. The speed of the run should also be considered. If you set off too quickly, you run the risk of depleting your carbohydrate stores before the finish. The recommendation is to maintain a moderate pace throughout so that your energy is derived from both fat and carbohydrate stores with the aim of having enough carbohydrate on board to finish the race. Patrick Thompson at New Farm Naturopathy can advise on ideal dietary intake for running.
5. Overuse injuries are a curse for both experienced and novice runners. A study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that runners who had lower limb over-use injuries also demonstrated muscle imbalance in the hip of the injured side. The hip abductor (gluteus medius and deep hip rotators) muscles and hip flexor muscles were found to be significantly weaker whilst the hip adductor muscles were found to stronger. The normal group had no such imbalance and the imbalances were not dependent on longevity of symptoms. Take home message: when you seek treatment for your shin splints, ITB issues or foot problems it is essential that any hip weaknesses are addressed. The physiotherapists and massage therapists at New Farm Physio use Finch Therapy to address these issues. The physios are also well versed in specific training techniques for the hip area.
Once you have conquered the early days of running and have the capability of running for even 3 to 5 km, you have opened up a new world of freedom, fun and fitness. Watch out, it can be addictive!

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