Running-related injuries are unfortunately a common occurrence, with injury prevalence reported to be as high as 90%, with up to 79% of runners experiencing a lower extremity injury each year.
The majority of running-related injuries are overuse in nature with the common injuries including medial tibial stress syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciopathy, and patellofemoral pain.
Risk factors associated with running-related injuries continue to be well researched, and include fitness level, history of prior injury and body mass index.
When considering that most running-related injuries are overuse in nature, injuries are commonly experienced when accumulative tissue loads from running exceed what individual tissues are capable of tolerating.
There is a well known association between training load errors, or spikes and injury. Injuries are likely to occur in tissues when they are exposed to significant load increases, or are unconditioned for the load being placed on them in a training session or training block.
So how then do we minimise the risk of sustaining a running-related injury?
We need to reduce tissue loads, and or improve the capacity of our tissues to tolerate load.
This can be done in many ways, and in every way depends on the individual.
We can modify training loads; establish effective recovery strategies; strengthen tissues to improve their load tolerance; improve motor patterning to reduce tissue loads; modify technique to reduce load on injured tissues.
There are many things to consider, and it isn’t a quick fix. But, for those of us who love to run and have experienced an injury, it’s a worthwhile investment. Not only will you reduce your risk of injury, but you’ll improve the ability of your tissues to tolerate training loads, and ultimately see an improvement in performance.
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