The Corona runner crisis

Since the closing of many sport competitions, many Australians have taken to the streets or made new friends with that oval down the road. Blowing dust off the old sneakers.

But a few weeks down the track, many of these bodies which are unfamiliar with running are starting to let people know about it!

Going from couch potato to 5km runs every day, in the space of a week, is quite a challenging ask for your body.

So, how should we go about it?

Well firstly, you should be introduced to your tendons. They are the load transferring tissue in your body, which join muscles onto your bones. Basically they act like elastic bands that help propel you along, absorbing and then releasing energy. They are very important for running. But they are also pretty particular about how you go about it. Tendons require 24-36 hours of recovery time after heavy loading – and if you’ve recently increased your loading significantly (eg. number of runs, distance of runs or terrain of runs), giving them adequate rest is even more important.

Think of running the same as with any loading – it takes time to increase. Would you expect your body to be able to lift a 100kg bench press with absolutely no training? No. You must build it up over time.

So, for those of you who have recently picked up the great new hobby of running, let’s start with a distance which is achievable, and let’s give the body the time it needs to recover. As a quick guide, knowing the recovery time of tendons, start with 2-3 runs a week only, making sure you feel fully recovered from the previous run before beginning your next. Or as another useful guide, there are some great Apps available. You could even use something like the “Couch to 5k” app, which trains you up in running through gradually progressing interval training.

As always, ensuring appropriate footwear is an important first step, and a great injury preventer. In the unfortunate circumstance that you do gain any unwanted pain, seeing your Physiotherapist to get on top of it early is always the best option!

Happy Corona running!