Running is not an easy process. There’s no hiding from it. A strain on the mind and body depending on how many miles you need to put in. Current figures show that up to 80% of runners experience injury when training and competing. These injuries are due to a range of factors from inappropriate footwear to overtraining. With so many runners experiencing problems, the team at Power Plate works closely with movement specialists such as Dr. Emily Splichal in order to help people reduce their risk of injury. Dr. Splichal is a huge proponent of vibration in her role as an educator and podiatrist. Thankfully, some of the vast knowledge brought to us by our contributing experts can be put into practice in the most simple and extremely practical ways.
Tip 1- Prepare Barefoot
The advantages of preparing to run using Power Plate while barefoot are significant. The foot is the data hub when we run. It absorbs the physical load but it also provides a massive amount of information to the rest of the body. As we land and push off, the receptors in our feet feed the rest of the body with input on pressure, load, temperature, texture, shape and stretch. The nervous system perceives that hit or pressure from the ground as vibration, which is why Power Plate is such an effective tool for replicating that force. Hiding your skin beneath a sock and the thick sole of a shoe dampens that feedback from the platform to the foot. Dr. Splichal sees the skin on the bottom of the feet as ‘the gateway into vibrations’.
Tip 2 – Perform Single Leg
Put simply, running is a single leg exercise. At no point during the action are both feet in contact with the ground. Hence, the need to perform movements that require a single leg action. Any type of strength, endurance, power, balance or stability based exercise in a runner’s program should predominantly involve one leg at a time. Applying that simple change to those squats, steps and jumps in your current routine will replicate the demands of running more closely.
Tip 3 – Understand the Demand
The demand on the body while running is 3 to 4 times our body weight. Read that again and let it sink in…3 to 4 times our body weight each time the foot hits the ground. That’s a lot of force. If our system isn’t prepared for that hit, then injury is a real possibility. For beginners, running can be a massive challenge so using whole body vibration in training exposes the body to that force in a safe and easily programmable way.
“As your body perceives vibrations, or impact forces, it begins to contract against them creating what’s called fascial tension. By training on Power Plate we will be introducing controlled vibrations to the body thereby creating an anticipatory tensioning response. This is one of the most effective ways not only prevent injury but also to activate or wake up the nervous system.” Dr. Emily Splichal, Run Injury Free, 2017.
A pre-run hit of vibration can have a big impact on the body’s ability to work with ground force. Be proactive by dedicating 10-15 minutes of barefoot work on Power Plate. Better your chances of running injury free and become part of that 20% who don’t suffer.