Physiotherapy and Training Load Issues: A Guide to Preparing for a Running Event

By Khoi Pham, Physiotherapist

The HBF Run is happening in a matter of weeks so we thought it would be good to share some knowledge about training for an event and how to manage running related injuries.

Preparing for a running event requires dedication, commitment, and careful planning. Increasing the amount we run for an event is essential for improving performance, we call the amount of training your training load.

Increasing the training load is essential for improving performance, however it can also increase the risk of injuries if not managed properly. Down below, we have a few tips of how a physiotherapist can assist in managing training load issues and ensuring a safe and effective preparation for your next running event.

Understanding Training Load

Training load refers to the amount and intensity of exercise performed over a given period. It includes factors like distance, duration, speed, and frequency of training sessions. While a progressive increase in training load is necessary for improving fitness and performance, exceeding your body’s capacity can lead to overuse injuries, fatigue, and burnout.

The Importance of Balanced Training Load

Balancing training load is crucial for optimizing performance and reducing the risk of injuries. A well-balanced training program should include:

Progressive Overload: Slowly and gradually increasing the training load to challenge the body and promote adaptation your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system. We often use the 10% rule to help guide how much we increase our running by. For example, if you ran 20 km last week, you would increase it by 10% the next week which would bring you to 22 km.

Rest and Recovery: Allowing adequate time for rest and recovery to repair muscles, reduce fatigue, and prevent injuries. Ensure sleep is one of your priorities!

Variation: Incorporating a variety of training activities and cross-training to prevent overuse injuries and improve overall fitness. Cross training includes activities such as cycling or swimming. Swimming and cycling is an effective way of continuing to work on improving your cardiovascular fitness without the repetitive impact going through your body.

running physio

Physiotherapy’s Role in Managing Training Load Issues

1. Assessment and Monitoring

A physiotherapist can assess your current fitness level, biomechanics, and training program to identify any imbalances or issues that may increase the risk of injuries. Regular monitoring of training load and performance can help adjust your training program to ensure it aligns with your body’s capacity.

2. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Physiotherapists can design customized exercise programs to strengthen weak muscles, improve flexibility, and correct biomechanical imbalances that may contribute to injuries and reduced performance. Early intervention and rehabilitation can help prevent minor issues from becoming more serious injuries that could derail your training.

3. Education and Advice

Physiotherapists can provide valuable education and advice on proper training techniques, recovery strategies, and lifestyle modifications to help you manage training load effectively. They can also guide you on when to push harder and when to take it easy based on your body’s signals and performance metrics.

4. Manual Therapy and Treatment

Manual therapy techniques, such as soft tissue massage, joint mobilizations and dry needling can help relieve muscle tension, improve joint mobility, and reduce pain. These treatments can complement your training program by enhancing recovery and reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Other treatments such as taping may also help off-load painful areas.

Conclusion

Managing training load effectively is essential for preparing for a running event. Physiotherapy plays a vital role in assessing, monitoring, and managing training load issues to optimize performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and ensure a rewarding running experience.

If you’re preparing for a running event and experiencing training load issues or looking to optimize your training program, don’t hesitate to consult with a qualified running physiotherapist at Wisdom Physio. With our expertise and guidance, you can navigate any challenges or concerns you may encounter while preparing for your running event.

To make an appointment, please click here to book online or call us on (08) 9384 1555.