Injuries can happen in any physical activity, but running using a lot of muscle groups and requires a lot of cardiovascular effort so aches and pains are to be expected. At the first sign of any pain here’s what you should do…

LOWER BACK
Having good hip flexor mobility plays a really important part in how much strain and stress is placed on your lower back so stretch these before and after your run. Pay especially close attention if you sit all day.

KNEES
A great deal of knee pain can come from the pulling of the IT band. Invest in a foam roller, or a tennis ball, so you can self-massage the taught and tighter areas. If you really suffer with a tight IT band then soft tissue massage from a trained therapist can really help.

ANKLE
Calf stretches are a fantastic way to relieve tension in the ankle, but there are two important muscles that need stretching so make sure you do calf stretches with a straight leg to target the gastrocnemius and a bent leg to reach the soleus.

UPPER BACK/SHOULDERS
Having good upper back mobility is really important when you’re running. I like to use a foam roller or two tennis balls taped together to help relieve the muscles surrounding the spine. The more mobility we have in the upper back, the easier it is for us to move.

Stretching is one part of recovery – sleeping and rest is another – but I also recommend that regular exercise needs to be accompanied by regular soft tissue treatments. Don’t view a deep tissue massage as a treat, look at it as a crucial part of your training regime. It’ll also help keep injuries and those aches, pains and niggles at bay.

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