Preventing Running and Triathlon Injuries in the winter 22 Nov 2019
Train indoors – go to the gym.…….however, if you like to do your exercise outside, need to get the ‘office’ out of you and test if your air conditioned immunity is still working follow these tips to keep yourself injury free:
Don’t miss the warm up
Whilst it’s tempting to start the run or exercise straight away, most of your blood is in your core (your internal organs not your abs), trying to keep your internal temperature balanced. You need to get this moving to your arms and legs to prepare them for activity. A dynamic warm up with activation drills prior to your outdoor activity will get your body warm. This will prevent injury and you’ll be even more keen to get outside to cool down!
Remember dynamic stretches not static stretches
Running styles change on the ice
Whether you are a forefoot, barefoot, heel to toe or midfoot runner, the introduction of snow, ice or wet leaves mean that we often shorten our stride to help us balance. This loads our leg muscles more on a run and we rely more on our core muscles to help us react to the ground and adapt to it when needed.
- Work on your strength around the core and hip muscles. Add in some kettlebell squats, deadifts and lunges and where possible try to combine this with some bosu work or wobbleboard work to get your balance mechanisms firing more. Winter for sports like triathlon is classed as the off season and as such strength and conditioning workouts should increase as weekly mileage is reduced.
- Get your trail shoes out. If you have them, use them to give you a bit more grip on the ground. Your running style may not change quite as much with them
Keep extremities warm
Running with cold joints and muscles does work, but there is less margin for error. Try to keep your extremities warm by wearing running gloves and running tights. This will keep you focused on your form and not your icicles (toes and fingers) as well as ensuring homeostasis is maintained. Also don’t be afraid to layer up. The worst that can happen is that you end up removing a top layer and tying it around your waist as opposed to cutting a session short due to hypothermia!
Cold weather can confuse you. I’m not sweating because it’s cold, therefore I don’t need any fluids. For hydration, let your pee be your guide. You don’t want to be peeing coke or vodka—a light yellow is perfect. Dehydration can lead to reduced performance and injury. Drink responsible this winter (you see this everywhere in the festive season!). This means don’t overhydrate either. I’m talking water by the way
The nights get darker quicker. Make sure people see you. Car drivers and pedestrians included. The head down phone readers are just as dangerous on slippy pavements as cars are on the road. Bright clothes and reflective tabs will help them see you and allow you to lighten up and enjoy your run
Enjoy the winter. If you want to work on your sports specific strength and conditioning or get those niggles sorted before the new year come and see us
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