10 Golden Rules in Prevention of Running Injuries

Adapted from The Running Clinic

1. Surround yourself with the right people

Proper medical and coaching supervision for all runners, whether high performance athletes or joggers, must be done by qualified, competent and understanding professionals. For this reason, a runner must never accept final recommendations from a professional (physiotherapist, chiropractor, MD) that is not a runner themselves.

2. Your body WILL adapt!

The human body will adapt as long as the applied load is not greater than the body’s capacity to adapt. Overuse injuries are caused by an overload of the bodys anatomical structures ( bones, tendons, muscles). Every new stimulus must be integrated progressively ( hills, volume, intensity, surfaces, shoes..).

3. Keep it Simple

Be careful not to complicate or “over- medicalize” your condition. Avoid repeated treatment without progress. Avoid surgery. Do not choose plantar orthoses as a first option. Use a simple running shoe.. a very flat one that allows you to preceive contact with the ground.

4. Rhythm is the key!

To minimize ground reaction force, energy loss and injuries while maximizing stride efficiency, it is preferable to keep your stride rate over 170 strides/min. Quality workouts (intervals, race pacing) should be done between 180 and 185 strides/min.

5. The Kenyan surface

Flat surfaces ( road,track, treadmill) are very regular and make every stide mechanically identical to the last. On these surfaces, a biomechanical flaw will be repeated over and over increasing the chances of overuse injuries. The best surface is cross-country or trail running. Firm and irregular; these surfaces allow for a wide variety of movements and therefore a mechanical load that is properly distributed on the lower body.

6. Warm- up: a well kept secret

To get ready for a workout, you must increase your body tempreature by a progressive jog (15 to 20 minutes) followed by progressive functional ballistic stretches.

7. Stretching: yes and no!

Pre-run static stretching should be done ONLY when muscle retractions influence biomechanics to the point of creating a specific pathology or reducing mechanical efficiency.

8. Naturally strong

Barefoot running or walking as often as possible is an excellent way to solidify muscles and tendons that are responsible for the body’s natural absorption mechanisms. Slowly increase time in barefeet to allow adaption without overload. Specific stabilization, proprioception and strengthening programs are also good ways to prevent injury.

9. Cross- training

When injured, complete rest is rarely the best treatment. A cross-training activity is recommended as soon as possible. A cardio-vascular activity that is not painful will decrease recovery time. Seek medical assistance if injured.

10. We are what we eat / body and mind

We are what we eat… literally! Quality, variety and balance are the most important words when speaking of an athlete’s diet. Having fun, maintaining a positive attitude and adopting healthy life habits all directly influence the body and injuries to it.

ReActive Physiotherapy is a physiotherapy, massage therapy, golf and running performance center that is focused on orthopaedic and sports related injures, movement dysfunctions, and injury prevention. The clinic is located in North London at 665 Fanshawe Park Rd W.

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