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Running Post Lockdown


Here at Ashbourne Physiotherapy we can help you with any injuries, including return to sport in general.  All our physiotherapists are available for telephone and video consultations.  Ashbourne Physiotherapy are here to assess your strength, control and flexibility along with looking at your training programme in order to develop individualised rehab programmes that are tailored to your unique situation.


Running remains one of the most popular participation sports in the UK, but 2020 has been a strange time for us Runners. We started the year with big Race Plans and many of us were well into our training schedules when races started being postponed until the Autumn. All of the hard work seemingly gone to waste and with the ongoing uncertainty that we were all facing in every aspect of our daily lives, it wasn’t surprising that many of us in the running community were sent into a wobble!


Treadmills sold out as Runners desperately tried to keep up the miles and we all had to adjust to massive changes in both our work and home lives .We were allowed to go out for exercise once a day but could no longer run with our friends and running clubs. A huge chunk of our social life was put on hold. Meanwhile, virtual races sprung up all over the country to motivate us and support the many charities that are struggling due to the mass cancellation of main fundraisers.

Like many of you, I had big plans for 2020. A Marathon in May and two Half Marathons planned for the Autumn. My training, however, came to an abrupt halt when I became ill in mid-March. Post viral fatigue has meant that it has taken 10 weeks and 3 false starts to get back to my favourite sport. I’ve had to return to running much slower than I would have liked but I needed to build it up in a steady, graded way and I have appreciated the advice that my colleagues have given me to get me back on track.

With the current situation ongoing and our Autumn Races now in doubt, we need more than ever, to stay positive and strong both physically and mentally.

Here are some of my Top Tips to building up your Running post Lockdown: –


  • Firstly, have a good look at your training schedule. If you have had a break or reduced your activity during lockdown, start steady with shorter, gentler runs and build your running back up gradually. It will be tempting to build back up quickly to your pre-lockdown schedule but remember the 10% Rule for increasing mileage to avoid unnecessary injury.


  • As you start to build up, don’t underestimate the value of low intensity training. This should account for 80% of your training and is essential for building endurance.


  • Lack of strength is likely to be one of the biggest problems for most of us following a period of reduced activity post lockdown but don’t despair! Research shows that significant gains can be made in muscle strength in just 12 weeks of restarting a muscle strengthening programme, whatever your age! Building strength into your training programme will help to prevent injury and improve your running.


  • Consider doing some cross training.    This will boost overall fitness and help to reduce the risk of overuse injuries.


  • A healthy diet is more important now than ever to boost a healthy immune system. Running can help to aide weight loss but remember that it is not possible to run off a poor diet so it needs to be a balanced diet/exercise partnership.


  • Make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep. Sleep is essential for our tissues to recover fully and for a healthy immune system. This will make sure that you are fully refreshed and ready to go out and enjoy your next run.


  • Taking some time out regularly to practice some relaxation &/or mindfulness is hugely beneficial in reducing the stress response in the body, boosting your immune system and allowing the body to perform optimally.


  • Check that your running trainers are still in good condition. Many running shops have adopted ‘Covid 19 safe’ procedures to keep you supplied. Do check website / social media pages or phone to find out how they are operating before visiting.


  • If you are struggling with recurrent or new injuries seek expert advice sooner rather than later so that it does not become a bigger problem.


  • Remember above all, listen to your body and enjoy your Running! My motto is to always ‘Run Happy’. This to me is more important than speed or distance. It is my leisure time after all!

The opportunity for face to face consultations here at Ashbourne Physiotherapy Centre may be offered if it is felt that it would be beneficial for your care and is deemed safe to do so. These consults will be arranged in agreement with each individual and will be in keeping with Ashbourne Physiotherapy’s Guidelines for Face to Face Consultations. These guidelines have been developed with the advice of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and are in keeping with Government Guidelines for emerging from the current lockdown.


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