The Avoidable Injury: How a more informed approach to training can help you
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    Some will argue that in order to achieve results with any  sport,  the training required must be sports specific. To a certain extent this is true, so the tissues are strengthened, conditioned and loaded in the fashion they will be used.

    The main training for most runners is running. Some mix up the scene with a variety of cardiovascular exercise such as cycling, cross trainer and rower. Others will go further and know that to achieve a desired speed they require power. This can be measured in Watts and is the result of work done in a given time. To be powerful we need strength.

    Strengthening is often overlooked when training for long distance running. Quite simply, the running training alone is time consuming and there is little time left in the schedule to fit in strength work. 

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    Gluteus Maximus, Medius & Minimus

    So, which muscles groups do runners strengthen if time allows and which slide to the bottom of the pile?

    The quadriceps are most favoured as they are seen to be the main driving force when extending the knee to create push off. What sits bottom of the pile is of course, our  derrière. The technical term being our gluteal muscles of which there are 3: maximus, medius and minimus.

    Between them, they provide motion around the hips; but of great importance is the gluteus medius which is a critical stabiliser to the pelvis.  Weakness and lack of endurance in this muscle leads to an unstable platform from heel strike to toe off. 
    This is often the runner’s ‘rusty link’ to their kinetic chain and the root cause of common overuse running injuries seen in our Harpenden clinic.  It is not restricted to runners either, the same weaknesses are visible in people with many different goals. 

    Injuries such as: 

    iliotibial band friction syndrome, anterior knee pain, and medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), may all be the result of an unstable platform, causing unnecessary loading on other tissues. 

    Considering the number of times the foot hits the floor from day 1 of training to the finish line, it is no surprise that a weak derriere can be the root cause of tissue break down and pain.

    If you are experiencing signs of pain during your training programme, seek advice from our highly qualified musculoskeletal physiotherapy team to assess what the root cause may be.