Injury prevention for corporate road warriors
North Sydney Sports and Chiropractic owner Andrew Lim.
People who are desk-bound for most of the day, like a lot of the advertising, media and marketing industry, need to pay close attention to how they train. For an event like the AdNews Challenge, which requires a large amount of effort across four different disciplines, it's important to get your training right.
Start off slowly and set yourself small goals, then gradually increase your training load. Quite often if you haven't participated regularly in an activity which requires using different body parts over a long period of time you can pull away quite sore and risk injury. Start off at an easier pace and build up from there. Generally speaking you should progress your training loads by about 10% each week until you get to your end goal. This way over a 8-10 week training period you will have increased your loads considerably.
If you have any pain or discomfort, especially if it persists, you need to stop and rest. If it doesn't feel right you should cease the activity. But don't use this as a cop out to stop training. If you have a pain in your shoulder it doesn't mean you can't do any exercises with your legs. Do some sort of cross training or find some exercise that won't aggravate the injured body part. That way you are maintaining some level of fitness. Keep moving!
Seek professional advice earlier rather than later if you have an injury. In the first instance of injury occurring or if you are unsure about a potential injury, try to stretch and move the area of concern. If it's still too painful for you to continue activity, then stop what you are doing. Use the RICE principle: rest, ice, compression, elevation. This will ensure you don’t make the injury worse than it already is, and potentially a longer stint on the sidelines.
Running will likely be the most popular leg of the AdNews Challenge. The biggest thing we see with runners is repetitive and overuse problems. Partly due to people who don't do any recovery work after running– what we call active recovery methods. This means simply stretching, massaging, ‘rolling’, icing places that are sore, eating well or even sleeping– really just the basics of letting your body recover after exercise. Most people just sit down back at their desks after training.
People who are desk-bound most of the day and then just head out and run should really be allocating time in their training schedules for stretching or flexibility training or getting a regular physical therapy i.e. massage, chiro, physio etc. Generally speaking, the better your recovery after training, the better prepared you are for your next session. If you come in to the session still stiff and tight from previous training sessions, you can't put in the right amount of effort so you don't get as much out of your training and you put yourself at risk of injury.
The best way to begin a running program, is with a pre-running program! It is simply a strength and flexibility program for your hips, legs and core muscles three to four weeks before you even start running. It is to prepare your body for all the kilometres you will soon accumulate. You can also continue this into your running training so you are not just racking up the huge miles.
Follow these steps and it will make your transition from a desk-bound executive to a corporate road warrior a lot easier.
North Sydney Sports and Chiropractic