Im­por­tance of stretch­ing


Run­ners gen­er­ally fear get­ting in­jured.

The best ap­proach is to adopt in­jury pre­ven­tion strate­gies like yoga, us­ing a foam roller, com­pres­sion tights or self­mas­sage to re­duce the like­li­hood of in­jury (or see a pro­fes­sional masseuse if you run longer miles and can af­ford this).

Last year, I suf­fered my first run­ning in­jury due to over­load­ing. It was eye-wa­ter­ing painful.

I saw phys­io­ther­a­pist Vaughan Craddock, a di­rec­tor at Sports Lab who works with elite ath­letes and week­end war­riors.

In­cred­i­bly, he helped me go from hob­bling (for weeks!) to run­ning pain-free (and able to do the Chicago Marathon just a few months later).

He di­ag­nosed my prob­lem quickly and told me what I should do to avoid ag­gra­vat­ing the in­jury.

Then he gave me clear in­struc­tions on what I could do fit­ness-wise to main­tain my base fit­ness. It was re­as­sur­ing to have a firm plan to help me return to run­ning. Vaughan says seek­ing spe­cial­ist ad­vice is em­pow­er­ing. I’d agree.

To avoid ever be­ing in my (run) shoes, here are Vaughan’s tips to avoid­ing in­jury:

Firstly, he rec­om­mends that you lis­ten to your body. If you’re tired, then rest. If you miss a work­out, do not rush to make it up.

‘‘This is a com­mon mis­take that peo­ple make,’’ he says. It can be a fast-track to in­jury…

If a nig­gle does not clear in two to three days, see a spe­cial­ist. Ig­nor­ing an on-go­ing nig­gle can see things es­ca­late.

Vaughan rec­om­mends run­ners re­duce any stresses in life, hy­drate and eat well, get good sleep, and make sure you get enough re­lax­ation to recharge.

Stretch too, says Vaughan, ‘‘be­cause if you feel tight, then

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