I’m seeing a lot more people out running on the trails now that spring has arrived and the gyms are still closed. Typically this time of year I see people in the clinic with aches and pain related to running.
Did you know that the research shows 60-70% of running injuries are actually due to training errors - more specifically, trying to do too much too soon.
Are you one of them?!
Remember to be kind to your body that has likely been a little more cooped up in the last month, as we head into a spring like no other.
3 Tips for and injury free spring
1) Don’t run hard every day.
Trying to run hard everyday will not only leave you sore and tired, but it’s also a great way to get injured.
- If you’re new to running, aim to run easy most days of the week at a pace you could carry a conversation.
- If you’d like to work on speed, try changing up your running pace with some fartleks (speed-play) once or twice a week: run harder uphills, easy on downhills or finish your run with a handful of 20 or 30sec “pickups” to get your legs moving a little quicker.
- A well-structured training plan goes a long way in injury reduction
2) Do some loading exercises
- Jumping into a running program quickly may lead to a higher risk of tendon injuries. Tendons don't like huge surprises and will become irritable if you quickly increase your training loads and intensities! I personally have had about every running injury you could have so am very familiar with tendon pain but have learned along the way that these exercises help.
- Strengthening exercises to load the tendons completed 2-3 times/ week can help tendons adapt to the new stresses of pounding pavements in addition to managing your training schedule.
- Examples of loading exercises: squats, bridges, calf raises and lowering
3) Check your footwear
- There has been a lot of research and controversy on what is the best running shoe to wear in recent years. We’ve seen everything from the rise of barefoot running with five-finger vibrams to maximalist running shoes that look like little rocker boats.
- In general it’s safe to say that the best shoes for you are the ones that feel the most comfortable on your feet. With that said, I don’t recommend wearing training or casual shoes for running! So let’s say the best shoes for running are the running specific shoes that feel the best on your feet.
- Worn-out footwear can contribute to foot pain and low-back pain so make sure you replace your shoes when no longer feel good.