Whether you’re an experienced athlete entering your latest conditioning block or a member of the general population who has restarted their fitness goals in the new year, injuries are common with a sudden influx of exercise. For example, preseasons involve a far greater incidence rate of injury compared to any other stage of the year, due to unprepared bodies undergoing too much exercise too quicky. Thus, being able to prepare the body and manage exercise loads correctly, can limit injury risk, and allow you to train more, and be better prepared for your upcoming season.
Tendinopathies, shin splints and stress fractures are common injury outcomes observed when exercise volume is increased too quickly. Running, which sees repeated high forces transferred through the lower limbs is a common cause for injury amongst untrained individuals. This is something to consider if you’re heading into a preseason or getting back into exercise.
For those returning to frequent exercise after taking a break over Christmas, be sure to make the return gradually. This could mean a gradual increase in running distance, running frequency, or running speed. Each of these factors acts as a good way to manage your running workload and reduce injury risk. Couple this with adequate recovery to minimise injury risk.
On the other hand, for those going into a preseason, there is little opportunity to control your running volume. So, an increased emphasis is put onto recovery strategies to prepare the body for upcoming exercise. Ice baths, stretching and massage are great ways to accelerate muscle recovery. Practicing a weekly recovery routine which coincides with the demands of the preseason workload, is ideal for limiting injury risk.