Hi girls. Here at Running Mums Australia we have teamed up with our friends from Running Injury Free Revolution to give you weekly advice and tips on how to stay injury free. Paul is a very experienced Physiotherapist in QLD, who has a passion for running and keeping runners on the road. Lets give him a warm welcome!
Paul here from Running Injury Free Revolution. Nicole asked me to share some information with you guys and I’m really excited to help out any way I can. Being a physiotherapist for the last eighteen years and looking after all types of runners in the practice, I’ve been kind of busy teaching the good stuff for staying running to people one at a time. You running mums are so inspiring and there is so much great information to share that we started rifrev.com to help you run further, create speed more easily and stay running forever. Looking forward to showing you a ton of stuff on a weekly basis guys!
So first I wanted to take you back to the very beginning and think about a perfect world scenario. What do you need to know to enjoy your running forever? And the first thing you want to understand is your muscles. Muscles make up over 50% of your body by weight and they kind of get ignored. They’re just muscles right? They get tight, they cause pain at times, full stop. When you fight muscles all day every day, you stop thinking of muscles generally like that and you start thinking of them VERY specifically. I think of muscles in their locking mechanisms and it can be really helpful if you start to think like that too. There are a couple of locking mechanisms in a muscle but the one I want to talk about first are your ‘knots’. You know, the tight spots in your shoulders. We call them ‘trigger points’. You want to understand your knots or trigger points because they aren’t JUST in your shoulders. They’re EVERYWHERE, your back, legs, your arms.
There’s a map of them and they behave in a very specific way. Basically they will silently get tighter and tighter until they reach a point where they start to decrease endurance (blood vessels travel through them), they make it weaker, they change your mechanics and BANG… They can lead injuries. Runners knee, ITB problems, Achilles tendonitis will all have an element of pain from trigger points, so you want to become an expert in helping your own knots BEFORE they cause issues. You guys all remember the pain in your backs from nursing kids? More likely than not that was trigger point pain! And in the same way you learn to ease pain and tightness in your back and shoulders, similar rules apply to your achey knees after a long run, your tension in your lower back around 10k. You can get very good at recognising the warning signs of injury and nipping them in the bud before they progress to something more serious.
As you get good easing pain, you can add your running specific core strength strategies that will also help to get your technique spot on. It’s a journey of self discovery guys and I’ll try to take you through it one step at a time. It’s worth it…Run with your friends forever people!!
Talk next week,
Paul Trevethan (physio)