Do this if you’re running!

Do this if you’re running!

When you go for a run, do you just...start?

My mother-in-law texted me today and said her hamstring has been bothering her and if I could help. After a nice talk on the phone I decided to share some of my recommendations that I had for her with you guys!

Her situation:

She is training for a marathon, running more often, and besides that nothing has changed. Her diet is the same, schedule, etc...

I asked what she is currently doing and here were her steps:

  • Stretched hamstring
  • Rolled out hamstring
  • Dug into area that was painful
  • Continued to run

After all pain is weakness leaving the body, right? (These crazy military folks! You have to love their enthusiasm.)

When any strains occur the first steps should be to limit anything that causes pain. Light stretching, massaging, and low intensity activity are totally acceptable but anything beyond that may be causing more damage. (If it is painful, stop.)

For all of you looking at this and thinking, what about R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation)? I say, NO!

You want the injured area to receive the bodies natural healing response. Increasing blood flow is going to be key for recovery. (Some physical therapist and other medical professionals have actually moved away from ice completely.)

After chatting for a bit are determining that she has a minor strain, I wanted to know WHY this happened. Well it turns out she has great post workout habits like stretching but has fallen into the trap that so many of us fall into including myself and it was no warm-up.

When she prepares to run, she gets up, puts on her running attire, and well - runs!

A few issues with this:

  • Little blood flow to the areas about to be worked.
  • Tight muscles.
  • Movement patterns may not be sharp.

This can lead to less than optimal movement patterns when running which increases the chances of injury on top of the risk from tight muscles, and lack of blood flow.

What to do:

Here is what I have advised her to do:

  • Light massaging.
  • Light stretching (if any pain occurs stop.)
  • Lower intensity for now. (walking/walk with weighted vest.)
  • Heating pad/Sauna
  • Foam roll areas around problem area.
  • Proper warm-up
  • Post workout stretching.
  • Give it time and don't push it.

Warm up:

Perform each one for about 50ft

    • Knee hug
    • Lunge
    • Hurdle
    • Toes walk
    • Heel walk
    • Hamstring stretch
    • High knees
    • Butt kickers
    • Stripper + Side lunge

Foam rolling:

    • Quads (inside, middle, outside)
    • Glutes
    • Calfs

Post Workout stretches:

    • Hamstring
    • Quad
    • Long lunge
    • Calf
    • Inner thigh

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