Injury Prevention

Dewi West: 10th May 2020

Unfortunately, as runners, we all run the risk of picking up an injury at some stage, mainly due to the fact that we cannot keep our bodies in prime condition all of the time, in readiness for the stress that running delivers. Stressing the body through exercise, along with rest and adaptation, is needed to improve fitness, so stress is not always a bad thing, it just needs managing.

Having had a recent injury, which came from nowhere (as they tend to do), during this lockdown period, I have buried my head in a number of books and articles, which has been very interesting and educational. You are never to old to learn! This article will hopefully be the first of many on advice we can share and can help in all areas of running.

I want to talk about a muscle, which is a `work horse` but often not noticed and bypassed by many sports therapists (physios, masseuse), when some TLC is very much needed. The larger muscles of the legs, glutes, quads, hamstring, rear calf get lots of attention, but the one I want to focus on is the Tibialis Anterior (TA), located at the front of the Tibia, on the outside. See the picture below.Tibialis Anterior

The tibialis anterior muscle helps with dorsiflexion, which is the action of pulling the foot toward the shin.

So, every time we walk or run a step, this muscle is working - no rest allowed! The TA is literally at the forefront of our running and the more we run, the harder it has to work - and potentially weaken, if not given that TLC. The good news is, we can all measure the state of the TA, to test the level of the aforementioned stress, as it is easily accessible - right in front of us.

Try this:      Place your thumb at the top of the muscle, with your thumbnail pointing towards the tibia and almost touching the bone. With a little pressure, roll your thumb from top to bottom, towards the foot and back again. Do this a few times, staying close to the bone.

Results:  If you feel no tenderness and just a warm glow from the massage, that`s good. See suggested stretch and strengthening below.

                If you feel a little tenderness, gently massage a few times a day, then when easier, stretch and strengthen as below.

                If you feel a lot of tenderness, ice is your friend, a few times a day, when easier, massage few times a day, stretch and strengthen.


A good stretch for the TA, is the opposite of dorsiflexion, plantarflexion. Stretch  your foot down and hold, away from the shin, with your toes in a `grabbing` position. You should feel a good stretch on top of the foot and up towards the TA. Hold the stretch for around 5 seconds, repeat 5 or 6 times, rest, then do another set. Do this a few times a week and your TA will get its TLC!


The YouTube link is a short, simple strength exercise you can do at home. Listen carefully, some good advice,

We all have lots of bits to look after to enjoy our running injury free, this is just a small part, but I hope you find it helpful. Any questions or feedback, email me:

More to come shortly from our coaches or anyone else who wishes to share some information or experiences.

Stay safe in `lockdown`