Running Injuries-Safety Tips

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,494
    Running Form Expert Danny Abshire breaks down important running safety tips.

    Danny Abshire: Hello! My name is Danny Abshire. I am here in Boulder, Colorado and we are with Newton Running Company. We are here to talk about some training safety tips for running to help prevent injuries. One of the biggest things that we see is if your are training for distance, that you want to go, say, maybe you have been running to 10k and you decide now to run a half marathon. A marathon is ramping up too much mileage too quick. This is a easy way to avoid injury is thinking about the 10% rule. Its a very basic rule to say that, if you have been running 6 miles as your long run, this particular week, say, you run on a Saturday, then next Saturday only increase your long run by 10%. So you will only be doing 6.

    6 miles. Same then same applies to overall weekly mileage. If you are running 30 miles a week, the next long or the next weekly mileage should be only 33. So keep that in mind, its a very easy way to not ramp up too much mileage weekly or too much mileage on the long day, you need to apply it to both. Your key to long day workout should be no more than 10% weekly build up and overall mileage weekly no longer than 10% build up. Thats a good safe way to approach distance. Now if you do too much too quick, lets say, your long run has been 6 and you decide next week to do 12 and you have not built up for that, you are setting yourself up for a lot injury. Thus distance jumps like that could create a stress fracture, muscle strains, different types of Tendinitis, Fasciitis, the injury could be ready to occur via forming biomeachnics and need sort of a distance in there, now you have a big problem that you have to recover from.

    So thats on the distance side. Now the speed side. A lot of people say, well, its okay. I have got my endurance training in, I have been doing my long runs and now I am going to pick up my speed. The first thing you might do is you havent been to the track in a year, you say, okay, I am going to go run fast now. I am going to go out and I was running 6 minute/miles last year or 8 minute/miles or whatever that pace is, and you go out and you try to match that pace the first day and you are doing quarter mile repeats, you are doing 8 or 12 of those, you are doing at that pace. You are going to be walking away with some really tight calves for starters because you are running at a faster pace, you will get more upon to your forefoot than normal. You are probably pushing off a little too hard to get that pace and thats going to cause some problems like Achilles Tendinitis, IT band from cornering around the track, that your body hadnt been really going around these angles or corners as much. You have been running out in the flats and in hills and now you are confined to the track and you are going fast, so IT band, muscle strains, Tendinitis of some sorts. So be careful when you get back to the track. Gradually build up, do some half-speed, three-quarter speed workouts and then gradually over the weeks, not that day, gradually build up to full pace and do it safely.

    The other thing that people can get in trouble with is hill work. Hills are an essential part of endurance training, they are great part of endurance training. They get you in a really good form with a little bit of forward lean, you are landing more on your midfoot and forefoot and you are just simply lifting the knee and driving, but too much hills, too much volume of hill, too quickly can get you into a lot of problems such as calf strains, Achilles Tendinitis and there again on your forefoot you may start the problem of a stress fracture, if thats too much stress too quickly, again, on the hills. So the other one is, in general, when you are approaching running whether its distance running or speed and you are also trying to combine the two, make sure to be honest with yourself, is this a good time? Have I recovered sufficiently from my last long run to incorporate speed? Be honest with yourself, listen to your body, rest when you need to rest, dont always go by the schedule because if you are like you are on the verge of an injury and you are on a say, a marathon schedule or a 10k schedule and it has a scheduled workout that week, and maybe it says, run 16 miles on a Sunday, but if you are having a really bad problem with your fascia or your hamstring or something just doesnt feel right, listen to your body and do some cross training, do some flexibility, maybe 5 mile run is all you need that day instead of 16 and work on your form and work on your flexibility and try to stay off the injury by understanding that it's a present and it could cause a more severe problem. If you do, of course, like always if you have any major problem from any of these training exercises and you made a mistake. Well, you have made a mistake, consult a physician, if you feel like you have a major problem going on otherwise regroup and take your time to come out of that injury by cross training and do it safely.

    So I think, the main thing about all this is have fun with your running but to have fun with your running, you need to listen to your body. By listening to your body, whether you are tired, you need to rest; whether you are hungry, that means you need a certain type of food, even by saying you are craving salty food means you need a few more electrolytes. If you are craving a stake, you need more protein. So listen to your body, it will tell you basically what you need to think about. So there are so many other factors in training injury free and that goes into many, many other things. So by listening to your body, it will help you with your nutritional and hydration aspects and all these other things that pertain to running injury free.

    So thank you very much. Number one, have fun, number two, do it safely, number three, attain your goals and enjoy your running.