- Want to be running more than you are now in 6 weeks?
- Be Fitter?
- Importantly, do you want to avoid injury or sickness and wasting running-shoe money on nasty Physio and Dr visits?
Then join our “Don’t get injured on Social Media” Run Challenge
Here’s how it works:
- Don’t sign up for anything
- Calculate your weekly running time or distance for the last 6 weeks
- Add 10% to this number and run that far in the next week
- Change nothing else
- Repeat for 5 weeks
Simple. We call it progressive overload. You may call it boring.
We get it. You’re at home, bored and looking for something to do with your spare time. Up pops an attractive ad on Facebook or Insta or a Strava notification publicising a “Challenge” for a worthy cause, asking you to jump way out of your comfort zone and exercise far beyond your current level to raise awareness or money for an issue that really means something to you.
So, you sign up, forward the link to some girlfriends or mates, and jump into the challenge with both feet. We’ve seen plenty of you recently who have taken on one of these challenges and come off second best with an injury. Here’s why:
You have simply exceeded your body’s capacity for change.
We see you with your sore knees, hip and hamstring tendons, ITB problems or sore Achilles and plantar fascias wondering what the hell happened and how you got there. Your training diary usually tells us the story. It’s all to do with your training load and what your body is used to.
Let’s keep it simple and use how many kilometres per week you run as a measurement of the amount of load on your body. Let’s say you average 30km per week for a few months before starting the challenge. Your body gets really used to this, you will tolerate training well, recover well and make gradual fitness improvements.
There’s now a “green zone”, a safe number of kilometres you can run in the next week and not increase your risk of getting injured. From the research we think that this is between 80-120% of your long term average. So, for our 30km/week runner that equals 24-36km.
So, from this data, if you run 37km next week (an increase of 7km in the first “Challenge” week) you have now significantly increased your chances of getting injured or sick sometime in the next 6 weeks!
Managing this “green zone” is done behind the scenes by good run coaches, Physios, and sports scientists. Comparing your 7-day to 28-day training load (Acute: Chronic Workload ratio) forms a big part of injury prevention and performance enhancement. Going deeper than we have in our example, it considers not only duration, but intensity of training, GPS metrics, stress, health, and other factors that impact performance and recovery.
For most of us, a simple number, the 10% rule, should keep us relatively safe. Don’t increase your duration or training time by more than 10% per week and you’ll decrease your chance of coming to meet us with a “mystery” overuse injury.