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RUNNING INJURIES • SPECIALIZED ASSESSMENTS • SPORTS MEDICINE
Beaverton, Tualatin Medical Clinics
Sustainable Running Guidelines
Most running related injuries could be prevented simply through common sense and by using these "Sustainable Running" guidelines. Find out in this article what you can do to minimize your chances of injury from running.
Any discussion I have with non-runners and Doctors about my own injuries has always been met with the same "just stop running". My guideline, when injured, is to "just keep running". However, you need to find a way to do it without pain. This may involve running very slowly, walking, or getting off the pavement on a softer trail. There are exceptions.
Many people get injured by spending too much time on their feet. Running too much and not resting sufficiently is the number one reason for injury. Rule one is to focus on finding the right balance between the two. If you start to feel pain cut back on volume (miles per week) or run less frequently. Take one or more days off from running. See if the pain goes away with a few days of rest.
My second guideline is to reduce your weekly mileage by 25-50% every third or forth week. Count this as a recovery week to let the connective tissue fibrils (in your tendons and ligaments) heal. Many ultra-marathoners take a break from running each year and do some other form of endurance training for a month or two. They should know. Doing 50+ miles a week on a regular basis is not sustainable no matter who you are.
My third guideline is to always, always cross train. You need to spend time strengthening your legs, your hips, and core muscles. Consider doing a low impact endurance sport such as cycling or stair stepper. I like to swim after doing my stretches in a 115 degree, 100% humidity steam room.
Of all the joints in your body the knee is the most common body part to get injured. Each running step, depending on your speed, will cause ground reaction forces to be about three times your body weight to impact the ground. This leads me to guideline number four, land softly.
Elite runners look like they are barely touching the ground. So too should your running stride be, barely audible. Try that on the treadmill. If you are pounding hard you will get injured at some point. So slow down, speed walk, land on your forefoot, take your shoes off, learn to strike the ground with minimal impact, or increase your cadence (steps per minute), run slowly down hills, etc.
Other guidelines that may vary from one runner to the next are: - never to run longer than about a third or even a fourth of your weekly mileage on any one run, - your weekly mileage should not increase by more than 10-15%, - minimize vertical lift by pushing with your hips instead of your feet, - incorporate variety in your running such as speed, terrain, duration, frequency, intensity, form, foot wear, and running volume.
For more info on sustainable running:
Contact: HANS KROESE, P.T. BSED, MOMT, SPM - Telephone 503 927 1012 - EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org