Training Like the Pros Do: A physiotherapist's Top Tips for Putting the Spring Back in Your Step!

The dark days where trails were covered in ice and snow are behind you. Now that your body has recovered from months of hard work – and the sun is shining, it's time to hit the trails again.

However, the key to easing back into the kilometers is making sure you stay injury free. Other than a sports physio assessment, you need to progress steadily and avoid getting greedy with the miles. Here are tips to keep in mind as you return to running.

Don't wreck yourself

The key is checking the level of intensity your body can handle. It's important to understand that you are no longer a beast but more of an angry somewhat wheezy cub. Once you get the green light to hit the trail again, resist the temptation to go all out and pick up where you left off all at once.

Supplement the time you spend running with cross training to recruit full body strength. Remember, patience pays in the long haul!

Be aware of the impact

Coming back from a non-existent routine of running has an impact on your body. Periods of inactivity can sometimes leave your body unprepared for evening something natural as running.

Running too far too soon can take its toll on your body. Your body absorbs shock with every step you take, hence commit to smaller jumps to help you ease back into your running routine.

Train stabiliser muscles

Your knees, ankles and everything else is bound to feel it once you get back on the trails. With the undulating terrain of the trail, your body gets more work than it's used to especially when you're making a comeback. Hence little tiny things tend to flare up. Other than full body lifts for strength, you need to train stabiliser muscles, tendons and ligaments to be ready for trail running.

Gradual return

Now that that the sun is shining, you're excited about hitting the trails again. However, it's important to rebuild your running distance slowly to avoid injury.

Take a gradual increase to your running distance by working below your breaking point. A slow building method will prepare your body for long-distance running in summer when the trails are prime.

Maintain your routine!

Now that your legs are steadily accustomed to turning at a faster pace, you can now put your time towards maintaining your routine. Once it's a habit, it's part of your daily life.

Remember, easing back into running is good, getting an injury is bad! Always make sure your prehab and rehab is spot on. It's very important!