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Every year when the running season starts to pick and more and more recreational runners start to enter into events like the Blackmores Half or Full Marathon and even some of the international events like the New York or Boston Marathon we see an increase in the same running injuries.
Common injuries that are usually a result of a certain factors that can be changed. One factor is the periodization of the training program. This means the progression of volume and load that you’re subjecting your body to. Another factor is muscle strength and stability, for example, poor hip strength leading to poor knee mechanics. And lastly running technique has a huge impact on injuries, whether it is high ground reaction forces as you land hard and pound the pavement or things like over striding.
All of these factors can be altered whether it’s through strength training at the gym, running drills and/or sitting down and planning a run program that will see proper running progressions.
First of all its important to find someone who can help you identify what the issues may be but then you must know how to implement it.
Here are a few key points to consider
- Training program- Instead of just going out and running distances you feel like you’re comfortable with, sit down and actually plan your distances. The program should included different intensity runs to train all your energy systems. Sprint training for short durations to increase your anaerobic system. Tempo runs to target your lactate threshold and really learn how to push your race pace. Long slow distances to increase your aerobic capacity and get some more KMs under your belt. I generally look to increase your weekly volume by a steady 10% each week for safe progressions and would suggest that every 4 weeks is a recovery week in which you reduce volume from the previous week to allow your body to recover and prep for the next 3 weeks of increasing workload.
- Leg Strength- Make sure that you’re training your hip stabilizer muscles such as gluteus medius to ensure running efficiency. You will most likely need someone to visually look at your running and single leg control to figure out if you’re lacking stability but you could start with doing some single leg squats in front of a mirror. Compare sides to see if you can find a noticeable asymmetry between them. Watch your knees and see if they collapse inward.
- Have someone film your running from behind and side on. Look for the foot to land under your hips and torso not out in front.