Tips for Working with a Running PT
Running may seem like a simple sport, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Every stride requires mobility, strength, and endurance. Considering the number of strides a dedicated runner makes each week, it’s no surprise up to 80% of runners suffer a running-related injury each year.
But this doesn’t have to be your reality. Working with a physical therapist can help you stay injury-free, so you can stay on track to achieve your goals. Here are a few tips for adding physical therapy for runners into your training plan.
Find a running specialist for physical therapy
Physical therapists go through rigorous training to identify, treat, and prevent movement-related injuries. But not all physical therapists are familiar with PT for runners. So, how do you find the right running PT for you?
The best way to find a good running PT is to get a recommendation from a peer. Consider asking your running community—for instance, polling your team or Facebook group—if anyone has a suggestion. Another tactic for finding a running PT is to read their online bio. Often, these bios will include the physical therapist’s areas of specialty as well as personal interests.
Incorporate physical therapy into your training plan
Injuries can manifest in many different forms. Whether it’s a tight muscle, poor movement pattern, or weakness, there’s usually more than one problem at play.
Your running PT will assess your movements to pinpoint the root cause(s) of your injury. Expect your physical therapist to look beyond where your symptoms are occuring; often areas above or below may be contributing to your pain. Once your physical therapist has identified the root cause of your injury, they will come up with specific treatments (i.e., exercises) to address areas of tightness, weakness, and movement-specific deficits.
Your job is to stick to these treatments and incorporate them into your training plan as directed by your running PT.
Don’t forget your annual movement check-up
In the same way that you schedule an annual physical with your primary care physician, it’s important to schedule an annual movement check-up with your running PT.
Seeing a running PT even if you aren’t injured is a great way to stay on top of injuries before they even happen. During a movement check-up, your running PT will assess your mobility, strength, motor control, and form across a range of movements. What’s more, your running PT is trained not only to treat injuries but also to help you reach your highest physical potential. Think of a movement check-up as your chance to refresh your training and discover new areas of improvement.
Add a running PT to your team
No matter where you are in your running journey, you can benefit from having a running PT on your team. At Trail Transformation, we make it easy for you—all of our running coaches are certified physical therapists!