How to prevent running related injuries

Running Blog Post xpx

This blog is a guide for creating an injury resistant body for runners of all ages and distances. 

Right up front, we are talking about some strength training and why you should consider it as a runner.

Typically, runners are very good at continuing to run but when this topic of strengthening comes up, many runners simply ‘run away.’ 

The common complaint is that ‘strength training will make me heavier and therefore slower and more prone to injury.’

Amazingly, this misconception could be no further from the truth.

By enhancing your hop test performance (single hop or triple hop distance), there are very strong correlations to quicker 5km time trial and 10km time trial performances. This truth can also be seen within a range of time-based Olympic events, such as cycling, running and rowing as per this article

Supplementing running with strength training exercises will not only help you prevent injury, but it will also make you a stronger, faster, and a more efficient runner. 

One of the predominant reasons that runners get injured is because their bodies are unprepared to handle the physical demands of the activity. Tissue overload then occurs, either because of a sudden introduction to the sport, or a relatively sudden change or increase in training mileage or intensity (like running hill reps). 

While we’re on it, hill reps is not an effective strength training option, another misconception for another time!

An example of the mismatch in the demand of the tissues of our body is by simply assessing the strength capacity of a runner and comparing that with the force demands of every stride. While running at a moderate pace, the peak force that the body must cope with is during the stance phase (foot on ground). This can vary between 2x your bodyweight up to 3x your bodyweight with every step taken! 

Imagine taking a carbon copy of yourself and jumping on your own back, then sit down on a chair with one leg. Do you think you could do more than 1?

When it comes to building an injury-resistant body, this analogy is useful, “Don’t let your engine outpace your chassis”, meaning don’t let your aerobic fitness (endurance built up by running) outpace your structural fitness (bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles). 

If you do, you’re setting yourself up for injury. 

In fact, runners need weight training even more than you may realise. Strength work will help with three big factors for runners:
1) Prevent injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues, to better handle the loads while running. 
2) Run faster by improving neuromuscular (nerve-muscle) coordination and power. 
3) Improve running economy by encouraging coordination and stride efficiency. 

Improving your upper-body strength can also boost your running efficiency. With a stronger core, you’ll be able to maintain a stable upper body, minimising side-to-side movement and better hold your form at the end of a run when you begin to tire. 

By developing strength in your arms, you’ll improve your arm drive so you can inject more power into your stride, especially uphill. 

That’s why we’ve put together a set of resources to help you introduce some strength training into your running programme, as well as explain why and how it can help. 

You can download the full set of resources, tips for running-specific strength training, a myth-buster sheet and an infographic giving strength-training guidance. 

As usual, if you have any concerns or questions, or feel you need some more individualised assistance, please feel free to get in contact with us. 

We’re here to help.

And please feel free to share the link to this blog post with anyone you think can benefit from these resources.

Related Posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *