NN Running Team physiotherapist offers Vinne Los offers five very helpful pre-hab tips

1: Start Slowly

Running seems easy, right? Yet most people underestimate the load that running puts on the body, especially the tendons. So, I would say to any novice runner; start gradually to allow the tendons to adapt to the running load. I would advise a novice to initially train in 10×1 minute bursts combining one-minute of running with one-minute of walking. Also, to begin with take two days’ rest after a run, so the tendons have time to adapt.

2: Select the right shoe 

Although there is no scientific evidence that running shoes lead to injuries, in my daily work I see that big improvements can be made avoiding injury by wearing the right shoe. Don’t go online to purchase a shoe, but rather go to a specialised running store to assist you. 

3: Work on technique

When I returned to the Netherlands following almost four years in Africa, I was shocked by the style of running of many Dutch runners. I see many people running with a very low stride frequency, which makes running look like hard-work instead of running. Find a coach or a course to learn basic running technique. It will make running more fun, it will improve speed and lead to less injuries.

4: Listen to your body

When you feel pain during a run there is no need for panic. Especially not when the location of the pain changes. When you have increasing pain at the same spot for four runs in a row, it is good to see a physiotherapist. This includes pain in training, right after training or even the next day. An injury on the Achilles tendon is a tricky one because once warmed up the pain will often go away. When you start to feel morning stiffness, it is also a sign to go to a physio.

5: Work on you core

To avoid injuries, it is very helpful to strengthen the whole body. Core stability exercises can be very helpful!