A No-So Surprising Number of Injuries Happen
Each year, 25 to 50 percent of recreational runners sustain an injury that causes a change in their training. Running-related injuries almost exclusively involve the lower extremity. As you read on, you will learn some insights on how to prevent running injuries.
Injury from running can result from a runner’s physical make-up, such as decreased strength, flexibility or joint range of motion. Running- related mechanical faults or training errors can also cause injury. Mechanical faults may include over-striding or improper deceleration. Training errors may include inappropriate mileage, intensity, frequency or progression. The age of the runner’s running shoes may contribute to injury rate, more so than arch height, cushioning or style.
Common Injuries to Watch Our For
Common running injuries include kneecap pain (patellofemoral stress syndrome),outer knee pain (iliotibial band syndrome), heel pain (plantar fasciitis), menisci injury, shin splints (tibial stress syndrome) and others.
The human body adapts well to new demands as long as the applied load is not greater than the body’s ability to adapt. Overuse injuries occur from an overload of the body’s anatomical structures (bones, tendons, muscles). Every new stimulus needs to be integrated gradually (i.e., volume, intensity, hills, surfaces, shoes).
Follow These Guidelines
These guidelines may help you on how to prevent running injuries.
• No more than a 10 percent increase in mileage per week
• No more than a 3 percent increase in pace per week
• Consider walk-run intervals (see sample beginning program on back page)
• Work up to 30 minutes of continuous jogging before adding any speed work or hills
• Consider a step rate of 170–180 (85–90 contacts per foot per minute)
• Vary the surface, but progress your training on the surface on which you plan to compete
• Consider cross-training activity (ie: biking, swimming, elliptical) as an adjunct to your program
• Select a shoe that is comfortable to wear
• Use an appropriate dynamic warm-up program
• Implement an appropriate strengthening program