Pace yourself!

19 April 2018

If the London Marathon has inspired you to get off the sofa, follow this advice from Mr Rishi Chana, one of our orthopaedic surgeons here at Spire Thames Valley hospital, for staying injury free and enjoying a good run.

There are many benefits to running
It’s a very efficient way to get fit and lose weight, it's inexpensive and can be as social as you want. Plus, it's a great stress reliever, giving you that all important  ‘me time.’ 

If running is new to you
It is always a good idea to check with your GP before you start. Anyone with diabetes, a heart, vascular or respiratory conditions should always get advice prior to starting.

A good diet is essential
Make sure you are getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D for good bone health. Caffeine has been shown to help with fatigues and pain, and eating carbohydrates will help you release energy slowly and steadily. Also, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. It's vital for muscle building and rejuvenation.

Set at training schedule
If you are serious about doing a 5 or 10k run, you should set a routine for three to four days per week. One moderate paced short run, one race paced (fast and challenging), one long run, then an easy jog or gym aerobic session. This should be followed by gym strength training and a day of rest.

The ten percent rule
Do not ramp up your training more than ten percent distance per week. This will help keep you injury free. Your start distance will depend on your fitness levels. Aim for being able to complete the race distance around a week before race day.

Vary your training
Different aerobic activities will prevent overuse and burnout from running. Have fun and try swimming, biking or cross training.

Bone health: how to avoid a stress fracture
Using the correct running shoes and sticking to a variety of running surfaces (not just the road) will help take the repetitive stress out of the thigh bone. If you develop pain in the upper thigh and cannot hop on one leg, you may have a stress fracture and need to stop running and see a sports doctor.

Don’t ignore an injury
Running through an injury may make it worse. If you have groin or hip / knee pain after warming down and rest, get advice. If you are ill on the day, do not run. Diarrhoea, vomiting or a fever can wreak havoc with your body fluid balance which is vital for healthy heart function. This can lead to serious conditions.

Stick to what your body knows
If you're planning a long run or taking part in a competitive race, don't be tempted to try some new kit on the day. Wearing a new pair of trainers could cause blisters or a tendon injury. 


Mr Rishi Chana is a Consultant Hip and Knee Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in lower limb sports injuries and their prevention. To book an appointment, call 01753 665 404 or email us



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