It’s all about that base! Runners who participate in a program that steadily increases volume without an adequate base are more likely to sustain an injury.2 Base building implies that you start at a lower mileages and intensities before jumping into high mileage and high intensity training. Base building should consist of easy to moderate intensity runs at a distance appropriate for your level of fitness.
Play the numbers game! It has been suggested that up to 70% of running injuries are due to training errors, with novice runners reporting higher numbers of running related injuries.2,3 The old adage states that training programs should increase by no more than 10% per week.2 While other studies have shown that increases of up to 30% over a two week period can be tolerated by novice runners.3 Experienced athletes with a good base may be able to increase by more.
Muscle Up! Many of the running related injuries can be attributed to weakness in specific muscle groups. Incorporating a strengthening program that targets your core muscles, hips, and knees are key. Focus on correct form with low weight and high repetitions to ready your muscles for endurance-oriented activities.
Mix it up! Incorporating various surfaces and low impact cross training (cycling, swimming or strength training for example) may assist with preventing overuse injuries. You’ll want to include these workouts on low intensity and low mileage days to reduce the risk of a cross training related injury.
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References: Taunton JE, Ryan MB, Clement DB, McKenzie DC, Lloyd-Smith DR, Zumbo BD. A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running inuries. Br J Sports Med. 2002;36:95-101 Nielsen RO, Buist I, Sorensen H, Lind M, Rasmussen S. Training errors and running related injuries: a systematic review. International journal of sports physical therapy. 2012; 7:58-75 Nielsen RO, Parner ET, Nohr EA, Sorensen H, Lind M, Rasmussen S, Excessive progression in weekly running distance and risk of running-related injuries: an association which varies according to type of injury. JOSPT. 2014; 44: 739-747