Now that this lovely Ohio weather is starting to turn around, are you hitting the pavement running?
Nobody likes getting injured and you don’t want to have to push through pain to get through to the finish line of that upcoming race! Here are some helpful tips to prevent running injuries!
I always recommend seeing a physical therapist to assess your movement patterns, running gait, strength, mobility, etc. to help you determine an effective exercise program for you specifically to prevent running injuries and address your running form if necessary!
TIP #1: Avoid Training Errors
I know this is vague, but let’s talk a little bit more about what I mean. Training errors could include excessive running distance (increasing distance too fast or too much over 1-2 weeks), sudden change of training routines, increasing intensity too quickly, etc. Evidence suggests that training errors are the cause of 60-70% of running injuries! Thus, overuse running injuries should be pretty preventable if the large majority of them are due to training errors!
However, there is conflicting evidence in regards to training errors (including frequency, intensity, volume, etc.) and how they relate to relative risk of injury!
TIP #2: Avoid Over-Striding
This is one of the most common things that we see in individuals that are dealing with various running injuries! Over-striding basically means when you are running, you land with your heel first and your foot is well ahead of your body’s center of gravity. This increases the ground reaction force and thus, impact up the kinetic chain (foot/ankle, knee, hip/pelvis), creating an increased risk of injury such as runner’s knee.
A simple way to try and fix over-striding is to slightly tilt your body forward coming from the ankles as if you are going to fall forward. However, this is very slight, but it changes your center of gravity. In addition to this, you want to try and keep your feet directly underneath your head/center of gravity. This decreases the force and impact that goes up through the body! It’s not easy to make changes to your gait, but gradually over time you will see improvements if you make small changes and stay persistent!
TIP #3: Strength Training Is A Must!
It is no secret that in order to get better and stronger at running, you need to run! Seems obvious, right? However, I often find that runners don’t focus quite as much on strength training when in reality, this is a VERY necessary piece of their training to help make them run faster, more efficiently, and with less risk of injury!
Let’s talk about an example to demonstrate the importance of training specific weaknesses or muscular imbalances with running injuries. Knee pain in runners has been linked to weakness or poor motor control of the hip abductor muscles (muscles that control your pelvis when you land on one leg during running and keep your pelvis from tilting laterally when you stand on one leg). So, knee pain may actually be coming from ABOVE the knee, at your hip! You may be surprised to find that these muscles or various other muscles are weaker on one side versus the other and thus, could be contributing to pain you are dealing with when running!
It’s so important to perform proper corrective exercises for certain muscle imbalances as well as a general strength training program, including strengthening of the hips, thighs, calves, trunk, core, etc.
Are you ready to get out there running this spring?!
Make sure to keep these 3 tips in mind!
If you are dealing with pain during or after running and need help determining what the problem is or how to keep running.
Email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to schedule! I’d be happy to talk with you before scheduling to determine what would be best for you!