Between the ages of 18 & 21 I had a lot of injuries
I was a budding triathlete and could not stay injury free.
I had a tibial stress fracture, patella tendinopathy, ITB friction syndrome
The advice I was hearing and my belief system sounded like this –
- You don’t stretch enough
- You have flaws in your running technique
- Your hamstrings are too tight
- Your glutes are not strong enough
- You’re too quad & calf dominant
- You’re wearing the wrong shoes
- Your thoracic spine is too stiff
- Your shoes are not supportive enough
- You need to get new shoes more often
- You need to run on soft surfaces
- You need to get more massage & remedial work
- You over-train
…. The list goes on
10 years on and I can’t remember the last time I had an injury
I have run consistently for 10 years
- I still don’t stretch … at all
- I have not changed my running technique
- I wear racing flats for every run
- My hamstring flexibility is still very poor
- I still have a small ass and big calves & quads!
- I train harder with more intensity more often
- I still have a stiff thoracic spine
- I wear my running shoes until they fall apart
- I run on concrete nearly every run, including my long run
- I never foam roll
- I very rarely get any remedial work
So what has changed?
1. I’m fitter and have a higher VO2. Fitter athletes are more robust, durable & recover faster.
2. I’m stronger. I changed my gym routine from clams, theraband abduction & single leg balance to heavy strength training. Leg press, leg extension, hamstring curl, calf & soleus raises, glut machine, hip thrust etc.
3. I subscribe to wolfs law, but not just for bone. Have you seen the study where 10 x 10 reps of the leg extension elicited the same tendon response as a 10 km run?
Wolff’s law, developed by the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836–1902) in the 19th century, states that bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed. If loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger to resist that sort of loading.
4. I have been very consistent with my running. I have not stopped running in 10 years
5. I don’t care as much about pathology & healing. If I have a niggle I deal with it through strength training. I’ve had 3 x CSI in 10 years, but instead of taking 6 – 8 weeks to re load I take a few days. If you have no pain then get going.
6. I periodize my weekly schedule well – and I am more fluid with my training schedule. I take rest days when I need it.
7. I do less slow junk miles and more intensity…. Ie less catabolic and more anabolic stimulus
8. I do a small pre activation before every run
9. I’m leaner – but not because I do more cardio and eat less…. I have more lean muscle because I lift weights
10. I still don’t stretch, but I do some mobility work – hips, lower back, thoracic spine. But I don’t spend much time on this.
11. I’m a professional physio so I know what to do if I get a niggle
12. I do chin ups
1. Focus on the big rocks – get fit, strong, train hard, take rest when you need it and don’t stop running.
2. Don’t waste your time on the 1% – running technique, stretching & foam rolling, custom footwear.