So 2019 was great but you want to make 2020 even better!  It is a common theme every time January 1st comes around.  The gyms, running tracks and swimming pools of the suburbs get flooded with the well intentioned trying to be the newer, fitter version of themselves.  It is great!  Just as predictably however, by late January the halls of CSSM are overrun by those same people who end up with the injuries of the over-trained athlete – shin splints, patella tracking issues, plantar fasciitis.  In this blog post CSSM Physiotherapist, Ella Hanna, talks about how to get started on your new year fitness regime and how to avoid the pitfalls of overuse injury….

Are you hoping to become more active this year? Do you want to try a new sport or activity? Do you have your sights set on a “bucket list” goal? A marathon maybe? Whatever your goal, it is important to train effectively and at a level your body can cope with. Our message is – don’t let your “New Year, New Me” motivation lead you down the path of going too hard too fast and create a New Year’s Injury.

The natural enemy of any athlete is overuse injuries!  But how do you avoid them?

It is not as always straight forward as it seems but here are my top tips to help you avoid overuse injuries:


Be the tortoise not the hare!

The New Year ads for the gym may be tempting and those F45 folk seem to be sweating down the house – but are you ready for it?  Our advice is start the dial at 1 before taking it to 11.  If you haven’t exercised for a while – be honest with yourself.  You’re not what you used to be.  Gradually increase your activity level – both the duration and intensity of exercise – and work to a plan but do not increase the load by more than 10% each week. The FITT principle (frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise) includes the key components of an effective exercise program and is a great way of monitoring your training program.


You can’t go wrong getting strong –

If your goal is to finish a 10km fun run or marathon – sometimes the worst thing you can do is actually go out for a run!  We recommend including some strength and conditioning exercises in the first few weeks of your program and ongoing to build a strength platform for your greater ambitions.  Calf raises, squats, step ups, clams, push ups and side planks are all good exercises.  2-3 sessions a week is good to get you into the groove, increasing the resistance gradually (don’t forget the 10% rule.).


Arm yourself –

Those runners that you have been wearing around for the last 3 years probably are best left on the sidelines.  Take advantage of the post-Christmas sales to make sure that you are using the appropriate equipment and footwear.  It is worth the investment.  If you are not sure what you should be wearing talk to one of our team for advice!


Mix It up –

Include different forms of exercise – Mix up your routine with different forms of exercise (for example, instead of focusing on just running, mix it up with lower-impact activities such as cycling, swimming or the cross-trainer. This will avoid the same repeated stress placed on any one part of your body).


Don’t forget to Chill –

Rest – Sometimes people get injured not because they are overtrained.  It is more that they are under-rested.  Your training adaption will occur whilst you sleep.  So allow your body the time to recover.  Include at least 2-3 rest days per week into your plan in the initial stages.  They best form of rest? Sleep!  An average of 8 hours should be the goal.  So now that the new year’s fireworks are done – sleep is your master!


Don’t ignore the niggle –

Listen to your body! Pain may be a warning that something is not quite right. Early identification and treatment will minimise the setback in your training. Don’t be embarrassed to give us a call!  We will help you out.

So that’s it, my ten six commandments to starting 2020 on the right foot.  Now armed with the knowledge, grab your joggers, set some goals and kick start 2020 with a fun and manageable training program!

Need some guidance? As always Our team at CSSM are here to help you out.



Herring, S. A., Kibler, W. B., & Putukian, M. (2019). Load, Overload, and Recovery in the Athlete: Select Issues for the Team Physician – A Consensus Statement. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 18 (4), 141-148.