As many other outdoor activities have become limited and spring weather is in full effect, runners have been multiplying on the sidewalks and streets. Running injuries are very common as the body is put through repetitive motion, especially when there is an issue with the running form or an overloading of untrained muscles. Whether you’re new to running, picking it back up, or find yourself hitting the pavement more during quarantine, here are some tips to help reduce your chances of getting injured.
- Reduce your stride and increase your pace: One of the easiest changes to a runner’s form that will decrease pain and prevent injuries is a reduced stride. We tend to over-stride when running, especially as beginners. Reducing your stride and increasing your step rate while running can lower negative impactful forces on your ankles, knees and hips by 15%, decreasing your chances of developing an injury. If you’re up to counting, you should aim for a step-rate of no lower than 170 steps/minute.
- Check your foot strike: This component of running should only be changed if you experience pain in an ankle, knee or hip pain during or after a run, as changing where your foot strikes can unnecessarily redistribute forces onto muscles and joints that are not ready for the impact.
- To change your foot strike, you should focus on your foot striking the ground at the midfoot, not the toes or the heel. With a midfoot strike, you should be landing on the ball of your foot with your shin perpendicular to the ground. This will evenly distribute the forces from running through the leg, allowing fewer negative impacts on the ankle, knee or hip.
- Know the 10% rule: There is a general consensus among the running community that when raising your weekly mileage, one should limit increases by increments of 10% per week — for example, if last week you ran 10 miles, you should not exceed 11 miles this week. Although this rule is great for most, increasing mileage every other week of running allows your body to better adapt to the increased work and lessen the chances of injury.
- Get better shoes: The support in most high-quality running shoes tends to wear down around after 300-500 miles, therefore shoes should be replaced accordingly to prevent stress on specific portions of the foot.
Running can be a very rewarding activity to participate in for your mind, body and overall health. When injuries begin to form; your first steps should be to reduce mileage, follow these tips and seek professional care.
THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY OUR CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIAN, JERROD PUCKETT, FEEL FREE TO CONTACT HIM WITH ANY QUESTIONS VIA EMAIL AT INNER GATE ACUPUNCTURe