Injury is unfortunately an occupational hazard when you’re a runner so it’s important to look after your body and to try and keep injuries at bay to enable you to bank consistent blocks of training.
In an ideal world every runner would have a sports massage once a week, however in reality this is both expensive and time consuming. You can however give your body some much needed TLC with a foam roller. This simple bit of kit is perfect for releasing soft tissue and myofascial tightness.
With the dark nights sadly not disappearing anywhere soon, high-vis, reflective gear is a must if you want to be safe and be seen. From jackets to tights to arm bands there is now a vast array of reflective apparel to choose from. However for those runners who aren’t keen on bright colours you don’t necessarily have to dress as if you are going to a neon rave! A lot of technical winter kit now includes reflective panels and prints.
Whether you’re an elite athlete or a casual competitor, a training diary is a fantastic tool for many reasons. Not only does it serve as a great source of motivation when looking back at all the workouts that you’ve logged, it also enables you to objectively analyse why you are running well or maybe not so well.
Many runners have low magnesium levels so one of the easiest ways to help top up your stores naturally is to add some Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to your bath. A nice soak is great for muscle relaxation, particularly after harder sessions or long runs.
Although it doesn’t sound exciting, most runners, particularly those targeting the longer distances in the spring will be surprisingly chuffed with a selection of their favourite energy gels!
Some sports nutrition brands even produce seasonal selection packs that include gels, energy drink powders and sports bottles. All good running and bike shops will stock energy products and of course you’ll be able to find them on-line too.
If you live in an area with limited street lighting or you fancy venturing off-road once daylight has diminished then a lightweight head torch should be added to your wish list. There are a wide range of head torches currently on the market but opt for one that can be worn comfortably, has ample battery life and provides good peripheral light too.
Whether you’re injured or not, a trip to see a physio for an all-over MOT is always a worthwhile pursuit for any runner. A physio screening can help to identify any weak or tight areas of your body that could potentially lead to injury if they aren’t addressed. Prevention is definitely better than cure!