Run Smarter – by Podiatrist Phillip de Mestre
How to look after your body and your feet.
Running is great to clear your mind, and challenge your body. As the weather gets warmer, more and more people will take up running and many of them will hurt themselves. Here are some tips to help you run and exercise pain free.
Load – Did you know that over a 12 month period 50% of runners suffer an injury? 50-75% of these are due to overuse. You can avoid this by allowing time for your body to adapt. Don’t push yourself too fast, too soon. “Feeling fit” doesn’t translate to being a well adapted runner – it can and does take time. Cardiovascular fitness is actually the easy part. Building muscle tendon adaptation is relatively slow and even slower the older we get! Build up your running (time, not distance) by 10% per week to reduce your risk of overuse injuries.
Footwear – Our feet and ankles can strengthen, our shoes can only weaken. The correct shoe can significantly reduce injury risk. Try them on and if worried see a professional for advice. Manufacturers suggest 600-800 km before the midsole of your runners will start to breakdown. This means they will need replacing after 12 months if you use your shoes a few time a week, or every 6 months if you are a heavy user.
Cadence – Still running? Let’s talk about Cadence. That is step rate- or the number of steps in a minute. There is a strong correlation between cadence, ground reaction forces and injury risk. Did you know that increasing your cadence by 5-10% can reduce knee and hip load by 20%? How good is that! Protect your joints by checking your cadence. There is no ‘perfect’ number, but between 170-190 will be ideal for most. This can vary greatly depending on you height, speed, shoes and other factors.
If you have any other queries – or need more running advice – please contact our Podiatry Team at Pinnacle Health Group.