Home Covid Nutrition Mental health Fitness Familly and pregnancy Sleep

Strengthen Your Running Body to Prevent Injuries

Author Avatar
By Josh Piers - - 5 Mins Read
When jogging, there are five mistakes to avoid in order to prevent injuries.  Last year, your sister developed shin splints. Your marathon-obsessed roommate has been whining about his knees... once more. What about you? You're starting to worry if the minor ankle pain you're experiencing on even slow jogs is actually a major issue. According to a recent University of Gothenburg research of 200-plus recreational runners, a stunning 46 percent of runners who clocked an average of little over 14 kilometers per week reported some type of injury over the course of a year.  Knee injuries accounted for 27% of the cases, whereas calf or Achilles tendon injuries accounted for 25%, and ankle and foot injuries accounted for 20%. According to David McHenry, a primary physiotherapist and strength coach to elite athletes, "the average runner needs to negotiate three to five times their body weight with each foot strike."  "If they're striking the ground up to 90 times per minute throughout the course of their run, that's a lot of repetitive stress on the body." You might think you're a pro runner and you probably are but you can't change the mechanics of your sport no matter how experienced your stride is.  You may, however, avoid the blunders listed below to increase your chances of staying on the right side of that statistic and protecting your body in the long run.
  1. You try to accomplish too much in too little time.
After a great run, it's simple to persuade yourself to push yourself even further on the next one. Enjoy the endorphins, but keep in mind that "your muscles, bones, and joints have a particular degree of load capacity or the amount of force they can take" at any one time, according to Yera Patel, a physical therapist at NYU Langone Health Sports Performance Center. If you raise the volume (how often you run or how many miles you run per week) or the intensity of your training too rapidly, she says, you'll increase your risk of injury.
  1. You're in pain when running. 
Please, let's put the phrase "no pain, no gain" to rest once and for all.  Running isn't exactly a comfortable activity, and it can be difficult to distinguish between regular training discomfort that will go away and a possible ailment that could turn into a legitimate injury.  Runners are prone to dismissing minor aches and pains, but neglecting pain in the near term might keep you out of the game for months, according to Patel. "Pain bad enough to change your mechanics," McHenry adds, "pain that hasn't improved within three or four days following a run, and/or pain that gets incrementally worse throughout the course of a run."
  1. Bro, you don't even lift.
According to Patel, runners require a particular level of stability and strength in order to run safely and efficiently.  She explains, "Our muscles operate as dynamic stabilizers, absorbing trauma. The more powerful they are, the less influence on your specific joints." Strength training has been demonstrated to increase running performance as well as minimize injury risk since the 1980s. Resistance (weights) and plyometric (explosive jumping movements) exercises are required to get those benefits, according to Patel.  Two to three strength workouts per week are recommended, including two to four lower-body exercises (weighted squats, deadlifts, steps-ups, lunges) as well as plyometric movements (squat jumps, speed skaters) and brief sprints.
  1. Your foam roller has collected dust.
Low-intensity mobility exercises, or training your ability to move through a typical range of motion at a joint, is easy to overlook since it isn't very exciting or enticing, and it doesn't feel like you're working very hard or accomplishing very much, according to McHenry. However, it's critical that you stay on top of your game. "If you don't have enough range of motion to run with a fluid stride, you're more likely to be hurt because your body is pushing against internal limitations," he explains.
  1. Don't forget to warm-up
Consider how tense your body feels after a day spent crouched over a computer. Isn't that exactly conducive to a wide, open stride? According to Patel, jumping right into a run might result in muscle overstretching and a lack of appropriate muscle activation.  Consider this: If your major movers (your glutes) aren't engaged, secondary muscles (such as your calves or hamstrings) must pick up the slack, putting additional strain on your knee and ankle joints. The key to long-term running success isn't setting fast times or covering a certain number of miles.  It's doing everything you can to make your runs feel as good for your body as they do for your mind off the road, trail, or treadmill.