I spoke to local Physio Rob McCabe and asked him for his opinion on running. Rob has extensive experience dealing with a wide range of clients, including those who predominantly run.

 

Rob has a Masters in Physiotherapy, a Bsc. in Sports Science and Health, a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy and a Post-graduate Diploma in Orthopaedic Medicine.

Here’s what he had to say…

‘The running revolution continues in Ireland with record number of entries in the Dublin City Marathon last year. People typically take it up for various reasons;

  • Weight loss.
  • They have retired from team sport.
  • Mental health reasons.
  • To get outdoors – it’s free (until you get so hooked you’re signing up to an event every second weekend as well as experimenting with runners striving for that perfect technique).

But with the uptake of any new activity comes an increased risk of sustaining an injury. Unfortunately for those who start running any gym routine they may have once had tends to get neglected.

But what if that strength training was to (i) improve your performance, and (ii) decrease your risks of injury?

The typical running related injuries I see in clinic are due to muscle imbalances, i.e. somewhere along the kinetic chain is demonstrating signs of instability which is causing adaptations elsewhere overloading a certain structure. The same concept can be applied to most overuse injuries.

When it comes to running injuries knee pain is often associated with poor hip stability. Strength training (specific for runners) can help address these issues,and like mentioned earlier actually improve performance by making the runner more efficient in their movement patterns.

Evidence suggests that 2 strength sessions should be added per week for anyone serious about their running or avoiding getting injured.

It prepares the body for the demands of that chosen sport, much like any specific training programme should do. I might add that addressing mobility issues can also help in achieving better running form.

A perfect example is the inability with many runners to extend the hip back due to restrictions around the hip joint itself and the hip flexor muscle.

The important thing is that you enjoy doing whatever your chosen activity is. If it is running you love, run, but be advised that strength training will keep you running better, faster and for longer.’

Some really valuable input from Rob, thank you for taking the time to put this together.
It seems pretty clear – if you want longevity when it comes to running the logical step seems to be to include some relevant strength training in to your programme.

(This has also been added to the FAQ section next to the feedback I give clients when they ask about the pros and cons of running)