Get the ba­sics right be­fore you kick­start your train­ing

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

Pre-run screen and base­line fit­ness con­sid­er­a­tions be­fore un­der­tak­ing your run­ning pro­gramme:

We en­cour­age all run­ners to per­form a ba­sic strength and bal­ance screen be­fore un­der­tak­ing a train­ing plan for the up­com­ing Hope and Dream 10 mile/10k run. In ad­di­tion we en­cour­age ev­ery­one to build up an en­durance base of walk­ing 3-4 miles com­fort­ably be­fore at­tempt­ing to jog or run.

There are a few sim­ple self as­sess­ment tests you can per­form to check your body’s abil­ity to sta­bi­lize it­self ad­e­quately dur­ing run­ning and min­i­mize in­jury risk.

These two easy to per­form pre-run screens will help iden­tify ar­eas of weak­ness that should be ad­dressed be­fore un­der­tak­ing your run­ning pro­gramme.


Gently come up into a bridge po­si­tion as shown in the pic­ture be­low. From this po­si­tion raise left leg while keep­ing hips el­e­vated in the air. Re­turn to start­ing po­si­tion, re­peat bridge po­si­tion while rais­ing right leg. Iden­tify dif­fer­ences side to side. Pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the po­si­tion of your hips.

If you are un­able to main­tain a level hips/pelvis po­si­tion while al­ter­nat­ing leg lifts this is a pos­i­tive sign of hip weak­ness and a red flag to start your run­ning pro­gramme. Use this test as a strength­en­ing ac­tiv­ity. Work dili­gently till you can per­form the bridge ex­er­cise for one to two min­utes with min­i­mal hip/pelvic move­ments.


Stand­ing on your right leg, raise your left knee and hip to a 90/90 po­si­tion. Hold­ing this po­si­tion, close your eyes and try to main­tain for 30 sec­onds. As­sess do­ing the same on your left leg. An adult should be able to main­tain this sin­gle leg po­si­tion with eyes closed for a min­i­mum of 30 sec­onds.

If you are un­able to main­tain a sin­gle leg stance com­fort­ably with your eyes closed this is an­other red flag that must be ad­dressed be­fore you start your

run­ning pro­gramme. Use this test as an ex­er­cise to im­prove your bal­ance and pro­pri­o­cep­tive abil­ity. Work dili­gently till you can per­form this sin­gle leg bal­ance ac­tiv­ity for one to two min­utes with min­i­mal loss of bal­ance.

Sev­eral com­mon in­juries orig­i­nate from weak­ness in the hip mus­cles and core re­gion and poor pro­pri­o­cep­tive aware­ness which can be iden­ti­fied with the above screens. It is also worth not­ing risk of in­jury in­creases with the fol­low­ing.

Women tend to lack strength and sta­bil­ity in com­par­i­son to males. The rea­sons for this are not fully un­der­stood but the pelvic/hip align­ment of a women is dif­fer­ent to a man and this may be an un­der­ly­ing cause women have to be more con­scious of their run­ning form.


Past in­juries may play a role in plac­ing you in the in­creased risk for in­jury cat­e­gory due to com­pen­sa­tion and al­ter­ation of nor­mal gait pat­tern.


Slight gait ab­nor­mal­i­ties and mus­cle im­bal­ances may not af­fect the body if you are run­ning short dis­tances a cou­ple of times a week. How­ever, if you ramp up your mileage these small weak­nesses can turn into in­jury as in­creased miles mag­nify these weak­nesses and can. lead to break down.

Build your en­durance base for run­ning by walk­ing while work­ing on the above ex­er­cises. Run­ning is much more fun in­jury free.

Small strength and sta­bil­ity gains can pay huge div­i­dend to run­ning longevityand over­all en­joy­ment.

Dr Bryan Crouch,

Dr Julie Kir­wan, Crouch & Kir­wan Char­tered Phys­io­ther­a­pists

15 Abbey Square Cen­tre En­nis­cor­thy 087-449-7955

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