Number 1 Reason That Runners Get Injured

Let’s talking Running!!!

Running is a really easy way to exercise. Throw on the shoes, grab the dog and go! Especially when spring comes into season, we start to see running increase in popularity. Unfortunately running injuries are a very common thing we see in the clinic, whether that be elite athletes who train regularly or someone who has just picked up running for the first time as a form of exercise.

I had a chat to James, our running expert at the clinic, and asked him his opinion on why runners get injured. Here is what he had to say

In our opinion the number one reason that runners get injured is a LOAD vs CAPACITY issue. First let’s look at what “load” and “capacity” is referring to.
”Running Load” = The amount of forces and stressors applied to your body while running.
“Running Capacity” = The ability of the body (muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments) to contain or deal with running load.When running and training for any running event, we want this scale to be as balanced as possible. If anything, we want the load that we are putting through our bodies to be slightly more than our current tissue capacity to force adaptations and increase capacity overtime. If the scale is tilted in the opposite direction and we have more tissue capacity then we are currently loading, this is when deconditioning occurs and we will see a decline in our performance.

There are many factors which can impact our load and capacity. When we run, anywhere between 2-5x our body weight of force travels through our body and needs to be absorbed somewhere. This is why training loads need to be SLOWLY increased, in line with tissue capacity increases. An increase in load too quickly will almost always result in pain or injury to the lower limb.
When thinking about load, I like to think mostly about this in terms of a whole week. This means:
  • Running distance for the week
  • Running surfaces for the week
  • Intensity of runs for the week (this is often where people break down as they are running far too quickly. If running a lot of kms per week, we should run 80-90% of our runs at a slow pace – slow enough to be able to hold a conversation with someone next to you)
  • Running frequency – This ties into distances for the week. I would much prefer runners to do 3-4 runs at a smaller distance and slowly build this up, as opposed to doing just one big long run each week.

This is why guidance on training regimes is so crucial. The body requires time to heal and adapt to the load it has been placed on. If you push too hard, too quickly, niggles may start appearing. If these niggles are pushed to the side and we continue to run, injuries can occur.

Great advice James! The last thing we want is people having to stop exercise because they are injured. This is why we are so lucky to have James Clark on our team of osteopaths at Total Balance Healthcare as he lives and breathes everything running related. James has completed further training in gait and running assessments and we are even lucky enough to have a treadmill in one of our treatment rooms.

If you are noticing that running isn’t as enjoyable as it once was due to discomfort or pain please reach out to us at the clinicWe can’t wait to see you all out there getting a sweat on.

🙂 Bec @ Total Balance

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This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

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