Key Mistakes Made by Runners that cause poor performance and injury.
“ It takes no more time to do the right training as the wrong training”.
I find it incredibly frustrating when I see runners of any level not getting the results they should from the effort they put into their training. There are two typical scenarios I’ll explain here where this occurs:
1. Pushing yourself hard and being frustrated by results.
You feel you worked really hard and have pushed yourself and not gotten the result you should. You leave the race thinking that there should have been a greater result based on your training and effort.
2. You breakdown with injury or just general aches and stiffness and can’t get as much out of the race as you would have liked.
The second scenario where runners do not getting the results they should is where their body starts to break down in the weeks leading up to the key race. Stiffness and aches gradually (and sometimes not so gradually) lead to pain and injury. We have all seen the runner taped up more than an Egyptian Mummy as they struggle to get round the course. Rather than being able to enjoy the race and focus on a good result they are left worried they might not be able to finish or hurt themselves seriously.
For both types of runner it is a case of what might have been and the sad thing is that generally it is avoidable.
Why does this occur?
If you relate to the first scenario of not getting the result you should then this is generally due to not having a specific training plan that suited you. You are generally running too hard and not aware of the 5 training zones that you should be training in to get the maximum out of yourself.
Video on the 5 Training Zones.
Think about it like a car. If you wanted to make a car as efficient as possible in 4th gear, you would not constantly drive it in 1st or 6th gear. Sadly, this is what a lot of us do in our training. We do not train the correct system we will use in a race.
There are predominately two systems. The Aerobic system is the system we need to train in order to be good at 5000m and above. A simple Lactate test can help us understand exactly the point at which we go from Aerobic to Anaerobic. Sadly, a lot of runners go too hard and move into the Anaerobic when training. This causes them to train the wrong system. Therefore, despite training hard for months, they effectively haven’t trained the system they will need for their race.
With our lactate tests we give you 5 specific zones to train. Recovery Running, Aerobic Running, Marathon Running, Lactate Threshold Running and finally Anaerobic/VO2 max running. For the 5k to marathon runner 90% of time should be in the first 4 zones as these are the aerobic zones. Sadly, most people run too fast because they do not know their specific zones. If interested in a lactate test contact everardpilates.@gmail.com and I can recommend where you can get one.
If you only ever got one lactate test you would basically know your 5 zones for the rest of your life. I got my first test at 18 and now 18 years on my zones have changed only 4 beats. I find it frustrating that not more athletes know about these zones and the importance of training correctly for them. It takes no more time to do the right type of training as the wrong type of training.
You are doing the hard bit, going out and running but not getting the results. Without the right zones and the right structure it is impossible to get the right results.
What you need to do
Book a lactate test first of all. If you email me on firstname.lastname@example.org I can try and recommend where you can get one that is close to you. They only cost about 100 to 200 euro and you will have the results for life. I would also recommend a heart rate chest strap for your watch for accurate readings of your heart rate when training.
3. For those that get injured or break down.
For the second type who break down and get injured you must work on two main issues. The first is that generally there is not enough variety in your training. You tend to do the same pace for every run, only changing up the distance. This tends to put a lot of pressure on the same parts of the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, knee, hip or back. This is especially the case as people build up to a marathon where they increase the amount of distance they are doing.
Secondly, for most people, especially as we get a little older, we need something to help take the pressure off our muscular system. Running is great for cardiovascular fitness but is not good to turn on or use the muscles.
People generally get running injuries due to overloading their ligaments, tendons or joints. You need to get the muscular system working.
95% of all running injuries are related to too much stress on the joints, ligaments or tendons. A client I had Steve had 4 years of calf issues before he started our Sports Pilates course. Every time he would try increase his running load to try get ready for a race his calves would get injured again. He started our BackAware Sports Pilates and found that by working other areas of the body it essentially woke the glutes and other muscles up again. Now all the muscles were taking the load evenly when he ran. This allowed him to stay healthy and race and enjoy running again. He had to change his routine slightly to accommodate one Sports Pilates session per week, but it has allowed him to stay consistent with his running.
Podcast Clip Explaining Why Runners Get Injured
If you are active at least 3 times per week then click here to sign up for a free trial of Sports Pilates to help stay injury free www.everardpilates.com/sportfreetrial
Hopefully most runners are getting the results they want and are delighted with results when they finish. If you are not one of these, think about these two issues I have raised in this article. Maybe there is something you can do to help yourself get more out of the time and effort you put into your running. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone not get the results they should or break down injured. Especially when it a lot of times is avoidable.
Eoin Everard is a chartered physio and founder of the www.backawarebelt.com . He also is the author of “Get to the Line in the Best Shape Possible”. For a free copy of the book visit www.everardpilates.com/book