Last time we had a look at some of the potential injury causing factors related that can arise from running.

We had a look :
  • Piriformis Syndrome - a result of very tight Piriformis muscles, irritating the Sciatic nerve.
  • Ilio-Tibila Band (ITB) Friction Syndrome - Occurs when the Inferior aspect of the ITB rubs on the Medial Epicondyle of the Femir, resulting in inflammation.
  • Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome - A common knee issue as a result of many issues, Biomechanical, anatomical and training related.
The next step is to look at how we can either avoid these injuries, or reduce the impact they have on our running.

1> Flexibility
We have looked at the importance of Flexibility and Mobility in the postings on Swimming and Cycling, and running is no different.

A great weapon to include in your quest for improved flexibility and mobility is the foam roller.

This torture device is a cylinder of compressed foam, and is used to roll longitudinally over the muscle, a technique is known as Self -Myofascial release.

Check out this FREE, full body rolling session - it will help you regain a little more of that coveted flexibility.

There are also a few basic static stretches that can help the muscles of the lower limbs.

The Piriformis stretch

The Tensor Fascia Latae (the muscle that the ITB attaches to at the hip)

The Hamstrings

The Adductors

The Quadriceps / Hip Flexors

The Gastrocnemius and Soleus.
When stretching and rolling, be sure to follow these guidelines:
  • Hold the stretch, or roll the area, for between 45 and 60 seconds.
  • Try to keep the rest of the body as relaxed as possible
  • Control and slow your breathing rate - this will help you remain relaxed.
  • Stretching and rolling should have an element of pain associated with it, but should be excruciating.
  • Do not stretch or roll cold muscles - warm up thoroughly before stretching and rolling, or complete the exercises at the end of a training session.
Along with improving Flexibility and Range of Motion, there is a need to strengthen certain muscle groups of the legs.

Not only do these exercises help you to correct imbalances that might be the causative factor for injuries, but they help you to reduce the chance of other injuries occuring.

Have a look at the FREE Training Prehab for Running (Use the Promotion code 8EDCB4DE for 1 FREE rental).

By combining the stretching and strengthening exercises, along with other modalities such as Massage Therapy, Chiropractic and Running coaching, you will start to notice not only an improvement in your running, but a reduction in muscles tightness and injuries.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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