Getting across the finish line.. Prehab tips for London Marathon runners!
It's that time of year again, I'm seeing the injuries from London Marathon training come through the door! The weeks are ticking by, the weather is improving (wishful thinking?) and you guys are pounding the pavement. So I thought I'd write a quick blog post on the problems I see the most in the clinic as a result of upping the mileage, and share a few tips on how you can try to prevent some of these common injuries.
A little bit of research for you all: a systematic review from 2015 summarised that of all the research they collated, the main risk factors for groin strains were previous groin injury, playing at high level, reduced hip abductor and adductor strength and low levels of sport specific training (Whittaker et al). Now, annoyingly, another systematic review from the same year has found that research (only a few papers met their criteria mind) thus far into prevention strategies for reducing the incidence of groin injuries have yielded no statistically significant results (Esteve et al 2015), but in my opinion given the risk factors stated previously, it would be wise to complement your running with abductor and adductor strengthening.
Adductors (inner thighs) need to be strong to protect against tears within the muscle, but equally abductors need to be strong to prevent overloading of the inner thighs whilst you run. If you have poor hip stability (weak abductors), the knee is more likely to creep inwards, and this has been shown to hugely increase the level of activation in your inner thighs with various exercises - work anything too hard for too long and it will buckle under pressure. Take home message is strength training to complement your running my friends! Glutes, glutes, glutes...