avoiding injury

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to take a break from writing about food and nutrition to focus solely on exercise. Because that’s what I’m spending a lot of my time doing lately.

Walking. Running. Cycling. And swimming.

But my concern is that if I push myself too hard – if I train too much – then I will become injured.

I have already noticed some niggling pains that should act as an early warning sign. And so I have been researching what the best way is to go about exercising whilst minimising the likelihood of injury.

And having suffered from both medial tibial stress syndrome (otherwise known as shin-splints) and plantar fasciitis in the past, I know all too well the pain that comes from overtraining and ignoring the feedback your body provides you.

One of the first things I learned years ago is that your build-up in training needs to be gradual. If you have done little or no exercise recently then you’re better off walking for 36 weeks before you even start running. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating.

It’s because our bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments all need to get used to the increased workload and rushing into it will only hurt you in the long-run.

Once you’ve established a regular pattern of walking 34 times a week for 2040 minutes each time, then introduce a short run of no more than 6 minutes.

Ensuring you leave a day between runs, increase this by just 2 minutes until you’re running a total of 20 minutes but no more than three times per week.

If it’s too hard or uncomfortable then slow the rate of increase.

From here on a good rule-of-thumb (although probably not scientifically proven) is to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week.

This pattern has worked for me and I’m now up to a long slow distance (LSD) run of 100 minutes and three others of 3045 minutes each.

But this is just the tip-of-the-iceberg with regards to what you need to know. So stay tuned as I will go into a lot more detail over the coming days and weeks.

As for now? Train wisely and safely and remain injury-free.

Kim | 73.5

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6 thoughts on “avoiding injury

  1. I think I made that mistake last week. I went back to exercising, and wanted to do “Insanity”, but I ended up feeling really sore and today I had to go see my acupuncturist because I couldn’t move my back and neck. It turned out I had a contracture due to stress, and also working out like crazy all of a sudden.
    Thanks for the tips! I’ll be looking forward to reading more on this!

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