At The Running Company, we love to share the lessons we have learned running, from runners we have met and supported, and garnered from trusted suppliers and healthcare professionals.
Despite your best injury prevention efforts, you may find yourself dealing with some aches and pains. The information below is by no means a definitive list, but common injuries we get asked about in-store. If you feel you have an injury, we can recommend a number of local practitioners who will be able to help you – click here for more information.
Symptoms Simple pain in the Achilles tendon on contraction, particularly if you tip-toe or run, although it may settle after a couple of kilometres. It is often stiff on first getting out of bed.
Warning Signs There may be little or no thickening of the tendon, which can be tender to touch. Many runners have uncorrected pronation which makes the tendon spiral slightly under running conditions and cause unequal stresses within it.
Treatment This should include a heel raise of Sorbothane or foam, ensuring that heel tabs do not impinge upon your tendon when your toes are pointed (cutting the heel tabs off will certainly help, too). Applying ice in the form of a pack or massage and very gentle stretching will prevent shortening of the tendon.
Your medical adviser should ensure that you have appropriate footwear, have pronation corrected, use ice, massage and possibly ultrasound most judiciously. Rarely, in the chronic case, you may need the tendon surgically decompressed.
Recovery Running through it is fraught with risk, though that does not stop many attempting it. Properly and promptly treated, a few days – left untreated, it may extend to years.
Symptoms The Achilles tendon is surrounded by a paratenon to help lessen friction with movement. You will notice swelling, thickening and tenderness in comparison with the other tendon, due to friction on the paratenon.
Warning Signs Your doctor may also be able to demonstrate crepitus, a crackling sensation in the tendon between finger and thumb as the ankle is moved.
Treatment Ice and gentle stretching should be the mainstay of your management after you have eliminated friction between tendon and shoe back.
This is one of only two conditions in which a steroid injection near the Achilles can produce dramatic relief. Provided your doctor inserts it into the paratenon and not the tendon, you can achieve a rapid resolution of symptoms and signs. However, if it is inserted into the tendon, there is a high risk of tendon rupture.
Recovery You should have a mandatory week’s rest after the injection, but if more conservative methods of treatment are used, training can be increased accordingly as the crepitus and swelling subside.
Symptoms This mouthful causes a pain on the outside of the knee when the lower end of a sheet of gristle running from the thigh rubs over the bony prominence on the side of the knee. It only hurts when the knee is moving through a particular angle, and it is more common when running downhill.
Warning Signs Pressing on the tender area and moving the knee should be enough to convince you, but your doctor will want to see your running action and to check whether you are bow-legged or supinate. If you have pain on one side only it may be because you always run on a camber or have legs of different lengths.
Treatment Ice it, ice it, then ice it some more. Also, check that you are not wearing old shoes, and try running on the other side of the road if the pain is one-sided. Lower your mileage.
If your footwear or gait is causing ITBS, you may need orthoses or build-ups to the outer side of your shoe. Exercises which stretch the band can help, while ultrasound or a cortisone injection should cure the problem. Although massage is often recommended, it sometimes makes the inflammation worse.
Recovery Improving your biomechanics can make a dramatic difference, and you could be running properly again after a week. Ignoring the pain will probably make it worse, unless you switch to better shoes or training terrain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There are usually two main causes – traction and compression.
Traction based PF is simply a case of overloading and overstretching the Plantar Fascia over a period of time. It simply cannot take the load any more and breaks down – hence your foot pain.
Compression based PF is a trauma or force related one, whereby you’ve landed
on something hard and your Plantar Fascia gets injured and torn as a result.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Usually first thing in the morning and usually underneath your heel. Your fascia is a fibrous tendon which doesn’t receive a lot of blood flow.
Combined with when you’re sleeping and that your feet are the furthest away from your heart, they don’t get a lot of blood flow. Your first few steps in the morning are usually quite painful. Some people describe it as stepping on a sharp stone. This tends to subside as you move more, creating more blood flow, which helps warm up your Plantar Fascia.
The Running Company stocks 2XU, whose compression garments have been extensively researched, designed and tested by world class athletes and several of the world’s foremost sporting bodies including the AIS, VIS and RMIT University. 2XU Compression garments are independently tested by leading physiologists at the AIS, who have now released scientifically proven results to indicate that wearing 2XU Compression garments improves athletic performance and recovery.
The Running Company stocks 2XU, whose compression garments have proven benefits in a wide range of activities.
DURING EXERCISE • Reduced muscle damage and injury via better muscle containment + stability • Heightened agility via increased proprioception + awareness • Improved Performance • Reduced muscle oscillation via reduced muscle fatigue in order to improve muscle endurance, strength and power • Better moisture management through high quality Lycra which wicks moisture from the skin • Temperature control via breathable fabric to keep you comfortable in both hot and cold conditions • UPF 50+ sun protection rating to guard you from harmful UV rays • Odour management via antibacterial, odour resistance fabric to keep you comfortable and confident when working out.
POST EXERCISE • Faster recovery from fatigue • Reduced swelling and muscle soreness • Improved ability to maintain performance levels after wearing compression garments for recovery between bouts of exercise • Improved circulation and more efficient flushing of lactate from the bloodstream.
OTHER • Less risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and jetlag when travelling due to heightened circulation.
It is important to research and practice the intake of food and water during your training sessions. This will give you the confidence on the day to put your body in the best possible position. Hydration and nutrition are key aspects to a successful marathon. For further information refer to our Marathon Hydration and Nutrition guide.
Foam rolling is a form of self-massage. Using a foam roller increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better movement, helping with recovery and improving performance. Used correctly for both training and race preparation and also recovery, a foam roller will provide a great accessory for your running. Refer to our 8 Essential Foam Roller Stretches.