11 reasons you are getting running niggles
whilst training for the London marathon (or any other races)
It’s been going well, you’ve been following a plan, and you’re doing everything you should be.
BUT you are starting to get running niggles.
Whether it’s tight calves, knee pain, lower back, or hip pain, it’s becoming annoying.
You’re starting to wonder if you will make it through 26 miles.
In this blog, I’m going to tell you some of the reasons why these running niggles might be starting to affect your running.
You might know some of these already, some might be new to you!
Ignore these and those running niggles might just turn into injuries that will stop you from running for a while or stop you from doing the London Marathon at all this year.
1. You aren’t doing any strength training
Yes, you’ve heard it before, you know you should but you have a great excuse for not doing it!
But it is important, strengthening will support your body, muscles, and joints.
The stronger you can be the longer you will be able to run.
Worth thinking about if you are suffering at the moment.
2. You are over 40
I know you don’t feel any different (well maybe a bit stiffer) apart from those niggles.
Your body is changing and we need to change the way we train. We can’t just go out and run anymore.
- Our muscles are getting weaker,
- our joints are getting stiffer and the range of movement isn’t as good.
- Our balance isn’t as good as it was!
I could go on, but I’m sure you are getting the idea.
No, we can’t stop aging but we can slow it down by getting stronger.
It’s time to start thinking now you can add this to your current training.
3. You’re not moving enough in your day.
I know you run regularly, maybe daily, or at least 3 x a week.
BUT it’s not enough. Especially if you sit at a desk all day. Our bodies are not designed to sit for long periods, we need to move throughout the day.
By sitting we are weakening the muscles that we need to power us through our running.
Try one of these videos to get you moving through the day. Click on the photo below to give it a go.
4. You don’t warm up before your run.
I know it’s that time thing again, or you do it at the beginning of your run by just running slowly and building up.
Great, loosening the joints and wakening up the muscles will help your body run more efficiently.
Warm-ups don’t need to be long, but they will make a difference.
I wrote about this in my blog, Why we shouldn’t miss are pre run warm up if we are in our 40’s and 50’s.
5. You’re running technique is not great!
We are all different and have different running styles but there are ways we can improve our technique by focusing on reducing our fatigue when we run. This in turn affects our posture which can lead to those running niggles.
Next time you are out running check posture at the beginning and end of your run, then check reason No 8 to find out how to improve your posture.
6. You’re increasing your distance too quickly
You know you need to get used to running longer distances especially if you are doing a marathon. If you increase the distances too quickly and your body is not used to it that’s when the weaknesses in your body start to show and the niggles start.
Check you using a plan that is the right level for your running, beginners, intermediate and advanced, so you’re increasing your distance slowly. You can find some great running plans for the London Marathon on their website.
7. You’re balance is not great.
Why does this matter for running?
When you run you spend ½ of your run on one leg and you need to power yourself along.
Adding strength & core workouts will improve your balance.
8. Your posture isn’t great, too much time sitting or looking at your phones!
Bad posture not only affects your everyday life but your running too.
Some symptoms of bad posture.
- Rounded shoulders
- Head forward
- Lower back pain
- Aches and pains
Some simple changes could have a huge impact on your running.
Try this when you are next our and start to feel tired.
- Stand tall
- Lower your armpits
See how it feels.
9. You have a weak core
You might not realise this, I mean how do you tell? I talk about it on my blog What are the signs of a weak core?
The most important thing for runners who have weak cores is pelvic stability as this is where the whole running movement stems from.
If your pelvis is unstable then this can increase fatigue when running as you are using up more energy. For example – you might be swinging your arms cross your body which twists your pelvis so in fact you run further rather than in a straight line!
Strengthening your core will help increase your pelvic stability.
10. You are so stiff you don’t have a full range of movement.
We have touched on this by talking about warm-ups. If your joints move well this will help your running technique
If you have tight muscles then this can lead to changes in your body’s alignment so it’s important to keep yourself as flexible and mobile as you can. Check out my blog How to loosen tight hamstrings.
11. You don’t do Pilates
You have probably noticed a theme running through this blog.
Strength training is key for runners, especially if you are over 40.
It’s so important to add strength training to your running training, even if it’s at the expense of one of your runs!
But why Pilates?
If strength training conjures up images of having to lift heavy weights and go to a gym and you definitely aren’t interested then Pilates is a great place to start.
Pilates focuses on the whole body, strengthening, mobilising, and increasing your flexibility. Everything a runner should be focusing on.
The best bit is
- you can do it all from home
- it need only take 10-minutes
- It can be done before or after a run
- I can help you.
If you’ve read this thinking this is just what I need to do, to sort out your running niggles and reduce your risks of getting injured. Then let’s chat, tell me about the things you are struggling with at the moment, and let’s see how Pilates can help.
Hit the link here and let’s arrange a quick chat.