Can I run if I’ve had a disc injury? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Yes, most disc injuries will heal with time and you’ll be fine to run. Running can also be a useful way to strengthen and mobilise your low back, so it could actually be good for your discs.
However, if you are recovering from a disc injury or still suffering from back pain, running might not be the best exercise for you right now. Start with lower impact exercise such as walking or pilates and wait for the all-clear from your GP or therapist before you begin running.
Is running bad for my knees? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Not necessarily. Some research indicates recreational runners are less likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis than non-runners. Your body adapts to the forces placed on it so running can lead to stronger muscles in your legs and back and maintenance of good bone density.
If you overload your body by training too hard or too frequently you could cause an injury.
If running causes knee pain or if you have previously suffered knee injuries you should seek professional advice.
Reference: The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running With Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
Published Online: May 31, 2017 Volume 47 Issue 6 Pages373-390
Do I need to stretch before I run? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
No! It sounds counter-intuitive but you don’t need to stretch before you run. There’s quite a bit of research indicating that stretching before exercise either does nothing or slightly increases your risk of injury. It is better to use a dynamic warm up such as brisk walking, jogging or dynamic stretching. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I want to try running, where do I start?
Now gyms, yoga studios and swimming pools are closed, running is a popular choice of exercise. It’s also a great way to enjoy some fresh air and explore the local area.
Getting started can be overwhelming. How often should you run? How far should you go? How fast should you run?
We think the BEST way to start running is with the NHS Couch to 5K plan. This takes you from no running to running 5k continuously in about 9 weeks.
The plan is free and easy to follow. You can use a podcast or free app to talk you through all the steps.
Google “NHS Couch to 5K” for all the details.
As a general rule we suggest you run 2-3 times a week and allow at least 1 rest day between runs.