Exercise is the elixir. However, there are a few side effects, particularly the risk of injury.
During Springtime injuries are common place in the following areas/situations:
- Change of surface if playing field sports on grass. Although in some areas of the country, it may not seem like grass pitches will dry out more quickly in Springtime as the rain continues to fall, temperatures rising will aid evaporation of the moisture. Temperatures this week (third week of February) are predicated to reach 16° C in some places where as three weeks ago, snow was falling. Grass pitches, particularly in the east and southeast will turn from heavy to hard by April. This is a rapid change and one that any person’s body must adjust to. At the elite level these changes are mitigated by the quality of care and finance given over to grounds keeping but at the amateur level or even lower professional level, this change happens quickly. To lower your risk of injury in these sports make sure you:
– Have sufficient rest between games. Despite an urge to play as much as possible, a less is more principle will work better for long term performance.
– Vary your training to allow your body to adjust.
– Make sure your training is comprehensive including speed, stamina, strength, skill and supplety drills.
- Skiing and snowboarding injuries. February is peak season for European skiing and snowboarding. Common skiing and snowboarding injuries involve damage to thumb ligaments, to knee ligaments, humeral head fractures and coccyx injuries. Of course, the better prepared physically one is well in advance of heading for the slopes, the lower the risk of injury. However, there are steps one can take once you are there to reduce the risk even further:
– Warm up effectively. Warm should including getting warm (i.e. increase your blood flow to your periphery by generally moving about before getting on the slope), active stretches, moving joints through full range and getting your eye in (perform a couple of easy runs/easy skills) before skiing/boarding proper.
– Stick to your level of difficulty. Don’t try and progress too quickly. Make sure you are comfortable with whatever level of difficulty you start at before moving on even if this means skiing or boarding without your friends in a mixed skill group.
– Enjoy the après ski but be aware alcohol and lack of sleep will negatively affect your performance more than you may want to admit or realise. If you are out late then allow sufficient recovery time before skiing/boarding again.
- Running injuries in advance of the London Marathon. The London Marathon is on Sunday 28th April. If you are taking your training seriously then you are likely to be running at least three times a week by now with your longer run being above 6 miles/10 km (in some cases well above 6 miles). Running injuries can occur for many reasons but one major category is training over load errors. These occur when runners increase the number of miles/kilometres they run per week too quickly or they increase their pace too quickly. To avoid and mitigate training load and over load:
– Increase slowly over time. Remember your body will take weeks to alter sufficiently to deal with significant changes in weekly mileage.
– Increase your pace over time too. Increased pace means increased load and again your body will only adjust so quickly.
– Two 30 minute sessions of strength training are recommended weekly for runners, particularly for those that run three or more times a week and run more than 15 miles/25 kilometres a week in total.
– Don’t forget to stretch before and after every running session.
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