Injury Prevention for Runners

November 21, 2015

A couple of weeks back, a colleague messaged on the office runners’ Whatsapp group (yes, there is a Whatsapp group for everything) about this injury prevention workshop for runners, conducted by a fairly popular physiotherapist and marathon-runner. I was eager to check it out. It looked interesting. Dr. Gladson Johnson, is a barefoot runner, and as S told me, also happened to be in a kickboxing class that he used to attend. I saw the price for a 6-hour workshop was Rs 2100 and balked, at first. And then figured, it might just be worth it. And what an eye-opener it was! I’d highly recommend his workshop in a heartbeat. Here are my primary takeaways – 

  1. Running is not exercise. I’ve always treated it that way. As long as you’re doing some sort of sport or keep moving, that is exercise, right? Wrong. Apparently, exercise helps your build strength, endurance and flexibility. On the other hand, sports like running, swimming and cycling draw from your flexibility, strength and endurance, and to a very minor extent, help you improve the latter. So to be able to run well, you gotta exercise. 
  2. Your shoelaces ain’t tight enough. Unless you loosen your lace all the way to the top and then tighten each portion to the end and then lace it up. He said you’ve to do it this way every single time, so that you can secure your feet and reduce the movement of your foot inside the shoe. And your feet do swell up in the course of a run – so at some point in the run, you might need to take them off and re-do the laces again. 
  3. Arm Swing! He said one of the two basic techniques to follow while running is to ensure you swing your arms. If you see how children run, and if you think back to the times you’ve sprinted, the arms start swinging naturally. The swinging arms help your upper body to pull your lower body off the ground,  he said. 
  4. Breathing. The other technique to keep in mind – never breathe through your mouth. This leads to a parched throat, and your brain is tricked into thinking the body is dehydrated. Besides, nasal breathing helps you take slower, longer breaths, which is always better, he said.

The workshop was fantastic, with him walking us through some conditioning exercises as well. Truly felt enlightened at the end of it.


One comment

  1. Good stuff! There is always so much more to learn when it comes to fitness, love it!

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