This week I gave a presentation at the Running Room, North Vancouver Location (2601 Westview Drive, North Vancouver) about some injury prevention tips for runners.  Whether you are a well-seasoned runner or it is your first time, these tips along with your regular chiropractic adjustment will help decrease your risk of injuries while you are training for your next race.

Mobility
A lot of injuries in running occur because something is not moving as it should.  Adjustments will definitely help ensure your spine and pelvis are aligned properly but some mobility work can assist as well.  I am not talking about stretching here.  I am talking about working on your muscles, getting them loose, mobile, and primed for your run.
Some equipment you can use to mobilize include:

FOAM ROLLER

ROLLER STICK

 

 

 

LACROSSE BALL

When rolling out your muscles it is easiest if you work top-down or bottom-up so you don’t miss anything.  Rolling each spot for 30 seconds – 90 seconds is ideal. Some important spots to hit before and/or after your run are:

Between the Shoulder Blades – Lower Back – Glute Muscle Group – Adductors (Groin) – Hamstrings – Quadriceps – Calves – Bottom of the Feet.  Remember to do both sides!

 

In the next few weeks I will be posting videos on how to properly foam roll these areas so make sure to check out

Movement and Mobility Monday Videos on our Facebook page for the how to videos!

Warming up
An important reminder: the first 5 minutes of your run IS NOT your warm up!  You have not properly prepped your brain and body for your run.  You need to activate the muscles and the motor patterns required to have a successful, injury free run.
All you really need is 10 minutes:

o   Mobilize (see above)

o   A Dynamic warm up which can include:

Arm circles/arm swings
Leg swings
Glute activation (Monster walks with elastic band or squats with a band around the knees)
The running ABC’s (View this great video by Legacy Endurance Inc on how to perform these exercises in your warm up)
Warm up run (just an example):
Light jog 30 sec : 70% 30 sec
Light jog 30 sec : 80% 30 sec
Light jog 30 sec: 90% 30 sec
Light jog ~1 min
Begin run

Cross-Training and Strength Training
No matter how much you want to keep running, you must give your body a break.  A great way to train the cardiovascular system without running would be to switch 1-2 running days for cross-training days.  Cross-training is the action of engaging in a different sport.  So instead of running, sub in swimming or cycling to allow your body to recover from running.

Something else runners should consider is strength training 1-2 times a week.  By adding in body-weight movements or lifting weights, it helps one build muscle strength which will help prevent injuries as you continue running.  Think of movements like squats, lunges, planks and upper body rows, and aim for 2-3 sets and 8-10 reps of each movement.  I  recommend you see a personal trainer for a proper strength training program.  Check out the trainers at it’s time Fitness Results as they work hand in hand with us here at Edgemont Chiropractic Clinic to ensure our patients are strong, healthy and knowledgeable about proper functional movement.

Proper Breathing
Yes we all need to breathe, but proper breathing is extremely important and not everyone knows what that is.  The average person tends to breathe by inflating their chest and expanding their lungs.  I’m sure some of you are thinking “Is that not what the lungs are supposed to do?”  Well yes, the lungs do expand, however the best way to breathe is to use your diaphragm.  Proper breathing technique deserves its own blog post and video explanation, but for now please check out my fellow colleague, Dr. Mickle and her post on diaphragmatic breathing here.  Try out her exercise and notice the difference it makes on your next run!

WHY CHIROPRACTIC?

Chiropractic helps with the alignment of the spine and pelvis. With the combination of a chiropractic adjustment and muscle release/activation, your risk of injuries as a runner will dramatically decrease and you will be able to reach your optimal performance level injury free. 

As you can see there are many things to consider with injury prevention not only with running, but with any physical activity you decide to participate in.  Each one of these topics could have it’s own 3 part series and that would only cover the surface.  I’m just the scratching the surface here, if you want to learn more about injury prevention and how to take your performance to the next level come in and see me and we will take the required steps to reach your goals.

Dr. Col