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What we’ll cover
  1. Am I running too much?
  2. Acute to Chronic Work Ratio (ACWR)
  3. 80/20 rule

When should I increase my running distance?

With a number of local runs in Melbourne coming up including Run Melbourne and the Melbourne Marathon, our physiotherapist Veronica Goldring identifies ways to run pain free and reduce the likelihood of getting injured. In particular, a common issues runner’s face is how to safely increase their running distance or training load.

Running injuries often occur due to an imbalance between training load and tissue capacity. Training load refers to how much training you are doing, taking into account frequency, intensity, type, time and volume. Tissue tolerance is the ability of your muscles, tendons, cartilage and bones to adapt to training. Tissues do not like too little or too much load, so it is important to find the right training load for you whilst also increasing your tissue capacity. Common running injuries include plantar fasciitis or tendon related injuries to the achilles or patella tendon. Importantly, the likelihood of these injuries can be substantially reduced by managing load and training smart.

Am I running too much?

Training load can be measured in the following ways:

Acute to Chronic Work Ratio (ACWR)

The ACWR is a basic way of calculating how much training someone has done over the past week, compared to their regular load based on the past 4-6 weeks. For example, if over the past 4 weeks an athlete ran 40km, 40km, 30km and 50km, then the average they ran is 40km. In the following week, they ran 50km. The ACWR is 50km (acute) divided by 40km (chronic) = 1.25. The following indicates how much is too much or too little:

<0.80: under-loading

0.8-1.3: Optimal loading

>1.5: Danger zone

80/20 rule

Another loading principle approach is to apply the ’80/20′ rule proposed by American scientist Stephen Sieler and endorsed by Matt Fitzgerald, renowned triathlon coach. 80% of the time is spent running at low intensity with the remaining 20% completing at moderate-high intensity training. Intensity is measured by heart rate (HR) or rate of perceived exertion (RPE) on a scale between 0-10.

Most recreational runners do 1 hard run for every 1 easy run. This rule suggests changing this to one hard run for every four easy runs. Whilst the jury is still out, there is evidence to support that this is effective in both recreational runners completing less than 4 hours of training a week, as well as professional athletes training 10-25 hours per week. Physiologically, training at a low intensity means you are not reaching your ventilatory threshold. This is when respiratory rate abruptly increases resulting in increased activation of the autonomic nervous system, known as the ‘fight or flight’ reaction. This creates more metabolic waste products that remain in the muscles, hence requiring a longer recovery period. Therefore, spending 80% at low-intensity may prevent over-training and keep you fresh so you can really put in you maximal effort for those small doses of higher intensities.

A good guide to low, moderate and high intensity are based on the following parameters or useful guidelines:

Low intensity: <77% max HR or RPE < 4/10 (should be able to hold a conversation)

Moderate: 77%-92 max HR or RPE 5-6 /10

High intensity: >92% HR or RPE >7/ 10

Our team of physiotherapists are well equipped and experienced to prevent and treat a range of running injuries regardless of whether you are a beginner through to athlete. Book online or contact our friendly team today.


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Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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