Rebecca Shield, associate Chiropractor at Back 2 Balance, addresses this concept- how much is too much with respect to running.
Exercise is a big part of our lives today, with gyms and sports clubs all over. Sport and exercise for many of us is a social event as well as physical. To stay healthy the NHS recommend 2 and a half hours a week of moderate exercise and 2 weights sessions. Most of us are told that we don’t exercise enough and that we need to do more. Running is a vigorous aerobic workout that trains the cardiovascular system and can qualify in promoting our health.
Recently, however, running has had rather bad press. It has been suggested that while moderate running is healthy, excessive exercise can be damaging. Running too often or too much in one go can place joints under stress. This cumulative stress on the body can produce some of those well known injuries that we hear about so often, such as stress fractures, runner’s knee, shin splints and Achilles problems. But how can you tell when you’re running too much?
If you’re running for health the key mileage per week lies between 5 and 19 miles spread through 3 or 4 sessions according to recent research. Runs of 30 minutes are of perfect length when running for health, but running for over an hour regularly can start to be counterproductive to your health.
So you’ve decided that you enjoy running, it’s become a hobby and an enjoyable pass time and you feel that you would like to start competing. When is too much now?
There are some tell tale signs to show that you’re running too much for you own body. Some of them are as follows:
You feel fatigued and sluggish
You feel especially sore following hard sessions
Niggles turn into injuries
You catch colds regularly
You can’t drop off to sleep
Your improvement plateaus
The bottom line is that when running for health, less can be more. If you like to work out every day then change one of your sessions for another sport. Rest days are not a bad thing because they allow the body to recover and rejuvenate. If your running has become competitive then remember to listen to your body, what it’s telling you really is genuine!
Now it’s your turn, how much do you do? Do you think you are over-training? Let us know.