Whether you’re a marathoner, a 5K runner or a weekend jogger, running can be a great source of exercise and accomplishment. Uneven terrain, worn-out shoes, over-ambitious training schedule and lack of proper warm-up can all contribute to injury. Being smart about running can help curb injuries and promote healthier running.
Preventing Running Injuries
Here are some tips from our running team or how to avoid injury while running:
Beware of over-training
Gradually increase mileage while building in time for cross training to allow muscles and joints to recover. Start slow with speed, and make sure to begin with a warm-up routine especially before higher intensity workouts. Click here to learn how to safely increase your mileage, or here to view a Beginner 5K Running Guide.
Know your terrain
Help limit the risk of falls and rolled ankles by being aware of uneven or slippery surfaces. Be especially careful in winter months, where ice and snow can complicate conditions. If you are changing running surfaces from road to trail or vice versa, do so gradually to allow your body to adapt.
Shoes make a difference
Comfort is priority when picking running shoes. If you are feeling more aches and pains after your runs, it may be time to replace your footwear. All shoes eventually wear out. Excessive tread wear, or a decrease in the comfort of the shoe may indicate the need for a new pair of shoes.
Buy comfortable, well-fitting shoes
When choosing a pair of shoes, wear socks that you will wear when running. Try on shoes in the evening, when your feet will be larger from a full day standing and walking. Make sure that your feet and toes are not cramped in the shoe. Although it sounds simple, the best advice is to run in a few pairs of shoes when trying them on and pick the pair that feels the most comfortable. Click here for more information on buying running shoes.
Common Running/Endurance Sports Injuries and Conditions
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome primarily affects individuals who tend to overuse their knees such as runners, cyclists, skiers and others whose activities involve running and jumping. It encompasses a group of conditions that impact the area surrounding the kneecap. This results in damage, strain or inflammation of the structures, which leads to pain.Learn More
The plantar fascia is the ligament running from the heel to the forefoot. This ligament on the sole of the foot becomes inflamed from overuse, foot structure, disease such as arthritis or diabetes, or even wearing ill-fitting shoes. The resulting condition is Plantar Fasciitis.Learn More
The ankle joint is held in place by ligaments which stabilize it. When these ligaments are stretched beyond what they can bear from a sudden twist, turn or rolling of the ankle, the result is a sprain. Depending on the severity, this could even include the ligament being torn.Learn More
Achilles Tendon Rupture
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, and its cord-like structure connects the lower leg muscles to the heel bone. This tendon is vital for walking and moving the foot. When the tendon experiences repeated or excessive force, the result can be a tear, or rupture, in the Achilles tendon.Learn More
Pain in the lower leg, on the front inside or outside aspect. This injury occurs in many athletes, especially runners, basketball and soccer players and dancers. Factors that can cause shin splints are: doing too much too soon when starting a training program, a sudden change to an athlete's workout program that they have not allowed their body to get used to, changing running terrain (ex. running on flat ground and switching to uphill and downhill running), low bone density, improper footwear, and poor running biomechanics. Untreated shin splints can turn into stress fractures which is why it is important to take care of them before they escalate.Learn More