Tag Archives: running

running injury free Sheddon Physion Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

Running Injury Free

As an avid runner, I’m quite familiar with the fellow runners in my community. Since the pitches, arenas and gyms have all been closed, I’ve noticed a huge surge in the amount of people who have taken up jogging as a new form of exercise. While jogging/running is a great workout, you need to be mindful of several risk factors that could lead to injury. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, or just a beginner, here are some tips to keep you running pain free.

Tip #1: Don’t let your old, lingering injuries wreak havoc on your running form and potentially cause new injuries. For example, that nagging knee pain that you ignore may be part of a bigger problem, like weakness in your glutes, which likely will change your biomechanics and put more stress on the knee, ITB or achilles, along with annoying knee pain you will likely develop  hip and calf pain. All the therapists at Sheddon can be reached by email and will gladly set up a Telehealth appointment to discuss strategies and exercises to help you overcome old injuries. Don’t wait until it’s too late, or until we re-open the clinic. Fix your injuries now!

Tip #2: Newbie runners are more susceptible to injury and should focus on slowly progressing their distance in order to avoid injury. Increasing one’s distance too quickly is one of the most common risk factors for injury in runners. The golden rule is that you should increase your distance by no more than 10% each week. As a beginner, you should just focus on running consistently 2-3 days/week, and don’t worry too much about increasing your distance at first.

Tip #3: CROSS-TRAIN!!! Running is great, but you need to add strength training to prevent muscle imbalances from the repetitive nature of running.

Tip #4: What you put on your feet matters. Not every running shoe is the same, and not every runner has the same foot. Runners will have a different preference in what shoes work best for them. Unfortunately, with stores closed, you can’t exactly walk into the Running Room and ask to try on every shoe  in order to see which one feel the best. In the meantime, you can make do with what you have, if your current shoes aren’t causing you any issues. Otherwise, if you have a shoe that’s worked for you in the past, you can order them online. Not sure where to start? You can ask our Pedorthist, Sarah.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many professionals who deal with every running issue that you could possibly imagine. The therapists at Sheddon can help you with injury prevention, exercise prescription, running shoe selection, and gait analysis. The group at the Running Room can help you with training programs and gear. Surround yourself with the right people.

If you are in need of our services and are curious if virtual care is an option for you, please click on the link below to schedule a Free 10-minute Telehealth Discovery session with one of us.

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running for injury prevention Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic Oakville Mississauga

A Run a Day, Keeps the Grim Reaper Away

Everyone is always looking for the secret to a longer, healthier life. As we all know, exercise is beneficial both psychologically and physically. Running/jogging is one of the most convenient leisure time activities. But how much (or little) do you have to do in order to see benefits? Lee et al., (2014) recently examined the associations between running and all-cause mortality risk in 55 137 adults (age 18-100 years old). The amount of running you have to do in order to see a significantly reduced risk of death will shock you.

The study found that compared to non-runners, runners had a 30-45% lower risk of death, regardless of sex, age, BMI, health conditions, smoking status and alcohol consumption. Runners also lived an average of 3 years longer than non-runners. In addition, adults who consistently ran (for longer than 6 years) had the most significant mortality benefits. Lastly, you don’t have to be an ultra-marathon runner or Speedy Gonzales to reap the benefits of running. Running at lower doses and slower speeds (5-10 min/day at <6 miles/hr) was also associated with markedly reduced risks of death. Is more better? Not necessarily! Research has shown that once you reach >50 min/day of running there is no additional mortality benefits.

Take home message:

  • The most common barrier for adults trying to become physically active is “lack of time.” This study can be a great motivator for those adults looking to become more active and healthy. All you have to do is 5-10 min a day of light easy jogging (that’s equivalent to only 2-3 songs on your iPod…or Stairway to Heaven if you want some stretching time as well).
  • If you are sedentary and want to become more active, don’t get discouraged if you can’t jog consistently for 5 minutes. Start with a walk-jog program like the example below:
    • Walk 1 min., jog 1 min.;
      Progress to walk 1 min., jog 2 min.;
      Walk 1 min., jog 3 min., etc.

Still not sure where to start? You can ask any of the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic on how to incorporate jogging/physical activity into your lifestyle, based on your injuries and health issues.

Lee et al., (2014). Leisure-time running reduces all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk. Journal of American College of Cardioology. 64, 5.

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Run Less, Run Faster

What would you say if I said that you could run less miles and get faster just by adding a couple of short high intensity interval workouts into your running program?

If you have ever trained for an endurance event, then you know that part of the training involves long, slow runs in order to build up your mileage. These types of runs are essential for physiological and psychological reasons. However, in order to become a faster, more efficient runner, you need to do more than just long runs. Three main factors determine endurance performance:

  1. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max): the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can use during exercise. Elite endurance athletes have a higher VO2max and the body is better able to utilize and supply oxygen to muscles;
  2. Anaerobic threshold: the level of exercise intensity at which lactic acid accumulates faster that the body can get rid of it;
  3. Running economy: basically how efficient of a runner you are.

In order to become a faster/better runner you need to improve one or all of the above factors. The million-dollar question is how? Although most runners think running longer is better, research has shown that this is not the case.

A recent systematic review examined the short- and long-term effects of interval training on performance in recreational distance runners, compared to traditional long continuous running. All of the intervention studies used interval training for a minimum of 4 weeks and maximum of 10 weeks. Interval training consisted of repeated short to long bouts of running at close to 100% VO2max, interspersed with recovery periods. They all included 2-4 interval sessions per week, combined with traditional long, slow runs.

Overall, they discovered that interval training had beneficial effects on endurance performance, despite reductions in overall training mileage. Specific benefits of interval training versus a training program, which focused solely on long runs at low-moderate intensity included:

  • Improved VO2max;
  • Improved anaerobic threshold;
  • Improved running economy;
  • Delayed muscle fatigue;
  • Ability to sustain muscular performance at faster speeds
  • Activated a greater number of muscle fibers
  • Runners were less likely to get injured, which could be related to increased strength, as well as decreased training volume and time.

So where do you start?

Adding at least two days of short interval runs into your running plan will improve your performance. The above authors found that the most beneficial results were with intervals of less than a minute, with a work:rest ratio of 1:1 or 1:2, performed at close to maximum intensity.

Sample Interval program:

10-minute warm-up of jogging at an easy pace, followed by 4 x 30 sec. repetitions (covering 90-200 m), with a one min. rest, repeating 4 sets. Follow this with a 10 min. cool down jog.

Interval training must be integrated into a running program with long, continuous runs. Both training regimes are needed to improve endurance performance. Workload and intensity of the interval program should change throughout the training program, according to training goals and periodization.

Garcia-Pinillosa et al. (2016). How does high-intensity intermittent training affect running performance in recreational endurance runners? Acute and chronic adaptations. A systematic review. Journal of Sport and Health Science. In press


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