Your body is put through a lot when running so surely any gear that can help you avoid injury has to be worth investing in, right? Take a look at the kit that can help protect you from injury and keep your body in the best shape possible.
The brightly coloured tape you see runners wearing can be an extremely useful bit of kit for preventing injury. The texture and elasticity of kinesiology tape is intended to replicate the feel of skin and therefore allow unrestricted movement when wearing it. It can support the muscles, increase blood flow and reduce pressure and discomfort.
If applied correctly, kinesiology tape can also help to increase lymphatic drainage by lifting the skin to make a small space between the muscle and dermis layers. This space then takes the pressure off any swollen or injured muscles and allows for the drainage of waste products.
Foam rollers (when used correctly) can provide some of the same benefits of a deep tissue or sports massage, by releasing any tension or tightness around the muscles. Investing in this piece of kit is a more affordable option than having regular sports massages. A foam roller is portable and can be taken with you wherever you may be training or racing. Some foam rollers even have a contoured surface that works the muscles further and stimulate blood flow. A similar alternative is a stick roller, which is a self-massage tool, similar in size and shape to a kitchen rolling pin, which allows you to more accurately pinpoint and roll those muscles by hand.
Although your running shoes likely already have shock absorbing qualities; if you have suffered any injuries that have developed as a result of problems with your feet, a good pair of insoles could be a worthy investment. Insoles are designed to absorb the foot strike shock to therefore reduce the stress on the ankles, knee and lower back. If you frequently suffer joint pain when not only running but also walking, then insoles can help.
The humble ice pack should have a place in every runner’s home. Follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) principle after an injury, as applying ice can reduce pain and inflammation. It’s always useful to keep an ice pack in your freezer as it’s often the first port of call for any niggling muscle injuries or cramp that might develop during your run. Use it for 15-20 minutes straight after your run for the best results.
If you know have a particular weak spot, it’s worth investing in a support strap that can reduce the chances of an injury recurring. Whether you’ve suffered a weak or previously injured knee, ankle or shoulder, you can buy a strap or sleeve that will support the area. These pieces of kit provide compression to the joint and the area surrounding it and also help to keep the muscle warm and increase blood flow. By supporting the joint, you’re taking steps to reduce the chances of future injury.
The LP Knee Support Closed Patella provides firm support and uniform compression for weak or overstressed knees. It is made from the highest grade closed cell neoprene, covered with stretch nylon on both sides for comfort.
Need more help with your running and training needs? Visit realbuzz.com for more running advice and tips.