Learn the Principles of Injury Free Running.
Train your weaknesses ahead of your strengths, and liberate yourself from injury.
Physiotherapist Paul Bosisto combines the scientific knowledge and years of running experience to analyse your running
gait and teach training principles that will overcome and prevent injuries.
Attend an Introductory Event
The principles are simple, but applying them takes discipline. Attend a face to face presentation and find out how.
Train slow to run faster
There is very good evidence that too much speed training increases your risk of injury.
Speed training is about pushing your strongest muscles to their limits. It is training to your strengths.
A certain amount of this is OK, but this type of training is often done at the expense of your weaker muscles.
When some of your muscle strength is inadequate for the task it forces you to adapt. This adapted running form is less efficient and may load your body in unhelpful ways.
If you run this way most of the time, you are only practicing bad habits.
Shorten your Stride
One of the most common problems with running gait is over striding.
To run faster, it is tempting to take longer steps,
but this solution is less efficient and it increases the load on many of your muscles and joints.
Ideally when you run your foot should land directly under you. When it lands in front of your centre of mass it creates a very brief braking effect.
This not only slows you down, it uses unnecessary energy.
To reduce stride length, it is recommended you increase your cadence. A cadence of 170-190 steps per minute is usually about right.
Taller people will require a slightly slower cadence than shorter individuals.
Rigidity is a dynamic feature of muscle control that can impact enormously on
your efficiency and the loading on your tissues. Rigidity is impacted by effort, fatigue, pain and your emotions.
Rigidity compensates for inadequate muscle strength. When coaches say "Relax" they are encoraging you to be less rigid.
A knowledge of the mechanics of rigidity may help you train and compete more successfully.
Running further and faster requires strength. It is your weakest muscles however,
that are often the limiting factor. Ignoring injuries and training to your strengths can be unhelpful. Pain prevents the weak muscles from getting stronger.
Those weaknesses force you to adapt your form so that it is less efficient. If you identify your weaknesses and train them, you can remove those barriers and unleash your strengths.
Optimise your Recovery
It is not hard work that makes your strong, it is the recovery from hard work. Exercise triggers numerous physiological processes that initially weaken you. If this is not balanced with appropriate recovery, your pathway to success will go backwards.
Recovery time improves with practice, and it will deteriorate with overtraining. Get the balance right and there is a sweet spot for optimal improvement.
Warm up and Cool Down
The human body is very efficient and many of the mechanisms needed for exercise are switched off at rest. It take time to switch them on.
Training hard without adequate warm up puts unnecessary stress on your body. Likewise, some gentle exercise at the end of training helps your body to switch off again.
A wark up and cool down should make up a part of every training session.
Most runners will experience tendinopathy at some point. It is a fact of running. Many runners struggle with tendinopathy that wont go away. It prevents them training the way they would like, or it can prevent them training altogether.
Rest helps reduce the pain but it is not a successful solution if you want to run. The key is to change your strategy and find a way to run without flaring the problem. Paul Bosisto has expertise in successfully managing tendinopathy with adjustment of running form and a disciplined approach to managing training load.
Prevent or recover from overtraining syndrome
Achieving peak performance requires pushing oneself to the limits of your body's stress tolerance.
When you go too far, all that hard work can unravel very quickly. If you have fallen into that hole you probably have overtraining syndrome. (OTS)
OTS feels like chronic fatigue. All your vulnerabilities hurt, you may discover some new ones. You may be fatigued all the time. You suffer hot flushes, episodes of sweating and dizzy spells. Sleeping becomes difficult and you may have restless legs at night.
Your tolerance for training gets less and less. You pull up sore and it takes much longer to recover. You may become irritable and moody.
Overtraining syndrome is serious. For some, it becomes chronic. If you suffer these symptoms, come and talk to Paul Bosisto about taking appropriate action.
Flare up strategy
Many injuries have a habit of coming back. When they do, they can wreak havoc on your training plans. A flare up strategy is a plan of action to address these occasions.
When a flare up occurs, early action may reduce the consequences. At the first sign of pain, if you stop and apply a brief routine, it may allow you to continue your session and avoid a flare.
If you pull up sore, a longer recovery period may be needed. Additionally, I also find that cutting your training load in half may help you continue training and recover from a flare. Cut back on all speed work during this time.