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Support Your Running

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As the dust settles on another fabulous BIG Running Weekend it is clear that those that love to run and or are involved in other running sports are often a little baffled by the idea that what you do needs to be supported. ‘Support Your Running’ or any other sport or activity, is not a new concept.  It is for example championed by England Athletics and the NHS, not just for elite athletes, also the general population and everyday athlete of any age!

To support your running can require less time that many realise, can be done in your own home and requires little extra effort.  In fact it is not unrealistic to substitute actual running running time with ‘Supportive Sessions’.  Yes it is realistic to seek out help for this, to have something tailored to you and what you actually need.
So often as part of injury rehab athletes are given exercises for strength by the physio, yet, only for that injury.  Only for it to reoccur once the exercises stop.  Or for something else to cause pain and potentially stop you running.

Often the cause of injury is often blamed on overuse. Yes, because a structure became overloaded.  It’s the cause of that over load that is actually the issue.  Sometimes it is just building ‘time on feet’, too soon and too far.  This is easy to say and with hindsight we can see that overloaded areas of the body are compensation for poor movement or a lack of strength.

Most injuries in running are caused by poor movement patterns or a lack of strength-stability

Supporting Your Running
So what do we mean by supporting your running?  Here’s some of the best examples that every runner should be doing.

  • Strength and Stability Work
  • Mobility
  • Running Technique
  • Recovery strategies and easy low volume training
  • Massage (key as part of a recovery strategy)
  • Head Coaching

We have to remember we are all human beings. We are not machines.  If we break (injure) new equipment is unlikely to fix things, only re leave some of the pressure. A physio can help get things working quicker, release tight muscles or ensure improved movement patterns.  Yet to avoid this scenario repeating ‘Prevention is definitely better than Cure’.

Supporting Your Running is very much about Injury-Prevention and Improved Running

Benefits of Supporting Your Running

  • Injury prevention
  • Improved running economy
  • Free speed
  • Better stability
  • Improved strength
  • Improved power
  • Reduce risk of over-training
  • Better more focused planning and reduced anxiety.

Finding The Time
OK, here’s a question for you:  What is the benefit of a recovery training run?  Too far and you are not really recovering, you are just adding to the fatigue.  If it is at a really low intensity then there is actual little gain in terms of aerobic development – endurance, ability to utilise oxygen etc.  Science has proven this many times.
So why not substitute part of that run for a mobility session?  Or hey lets be really radical and add in an easy technique session that both mobilises and gets everything in the right position for better movement during your training runs.
If you already do a gentle warm up before a run, then 10 minutes of technique work could be perfect.  As to strength and stability just replace that run with some quality muscle activation work and strength-stability.  The benefits of all of this far outweighs that recovery run.

It may sound radical, it’s not.  I know some excellent coaches that say the difference between the elite runner and those that run good times is in what they do to support their running.  It is a light and day difference.

The opportunity to support your running is a great idea and one we would whole heartily recommend.

So How Can We Help You to ‘Support Your Running?’
– or any other sport for that matter.

Injury Support aside there is much that we can help you with. For those wishing to discover more about how they currently move, where they are strong and not so strong could seek out help in the form of a ‘Move Better, Run Better Session’ with either Nancy or Stuart.  This will combine a review with a look at how to improve your running technique and a strength plan. There will be much, here, that you can do at home.

For those that have experienced a series of injuries would be well advised to come and see Colin for a one to one ‘Running and Movement Analysis’. This will involve video analysis, movement and strength review.  Colin, will also ask about your training.  His analysis is key to then working out a plan on what you should do next.  It may be that you need to seek out a Strength Plan with Nancy, perhaps mobilisation is needed too.  Technique could be the pointer and a coached session organised with you.  You will leave with quite a few pointers to get you started.

When it comes toHead Coaching’ there can be real benefits. Untangled your thoughts going into a race or being better to focus in the right way on your training can bring very tangible benefits.  Karyn will be the person yo see for a one to one to help sort through techniques for focusing on the important things and the things you can control.

There is so much we can can help you with.  So over the coming weeks we are going to bring you more information and ideas.


This Blog has been written by Stuart.  He is an experienced Coach with over 30 years experience working at a high performance level through those taking their first steps in running. He also works when required for England Athletics and Sheffield United Football Club.