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Running Injuries Handbook
Identification, Treatment and Prevention to Keep You Running
Copyright 2015 All rights reserved.
This document is geared towards providing exact and reliable information in regard to the topic and issue covered. The publication is sold with the idea that the publisher is not required to render accounting, officially permitted, or otherwise, qualified services. If advice is necessary, legal or professional, a practiced individual in the profession should be ordered.
In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
The information herein is offered for informational purposes solely, and is universal as so. The presentation of the information is without contract or any type of guarantee assurance. Before beginning any new exercise or new diet program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician.
Section I – Common Running Injuries
Chapter 1 – Frequent Causes of Injury
Chapter 2 - Achilles Tendonitis
Chapter 3 - Illotibial Band Syndrome
Chapter 4 - Plantar Fasciitis
Chapter 5 – Shin Splints
Chapter 6 - Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Section II - Stretching and Strengthening for Injury Prevention
Chapter 7 – Stretching for Injury Prevention
Chapter 8 - Strength Training for Injury Prevention
Running is commonly recognized as one of the best ways to get in shape while at the same time being one of the “cheapest” forms of exercise available. No complicated rules, no expensive memberships or gear – all you need is a pair of running shoes, right?
Everyone may have different motivations for running; losing weight, getting fit or taking part in local races. Whatever the motivation, the benefits come quickly and are addicting, and of course encourage more running!
There is nothing more deflating to a runner than to be sidelined with an injury. For all of its positives, running is a high impact sport, and depending on your age and level of fitness that injury risk can vary greatly. It is estimated that as many as 70% of runners will have some sort of injury within the year that will keep them from running.
The good news is the vast majority of running injuries are not only able to be recovered from, but prevented from happening in the first place. This book is broken into two sections. In section 1 we will discuss the most common types of running injuries, their causes and recommended treatments. In section 2 we will discuss stretching and strengthening routines that, when successfully implemented, should keep you on the roads and off the injured list!
Running is a high impact sport prone to injuries. There are many factors at play that determine a runner’s susceptibility to getting injured, including: age, biomechanical efficiency, weight and previous injury history. There are, however, four common causes that seem to precipitate injury in many runners.
Running is a sport which causes adaptations to occur in the body that enable runners to continue to improve. There are primary three areas of the body that adapt as a runner continues on a training program:
Progressions and adaptions to these body systems progress in that order, with the cardiovascular system adapting the quickest and the skeletal system taking the longest to adapt. It is not uncommon for runners who are enthusiastic about their progress to train at a level their quickly adapting cardio system can accommodate but that their muscular or skeletal system is not yet prepared to handle. When this happens, injury is often the result.
The rule of ‘Too much too soon’ does not simply apply to the amount of miles ran. Enthusiastic runners will often either run their routine running days too fast, or include several days’ worth of speedwork in a training week. Doing speedwork takes a special kind of toll on the muscular system, which requires a more deliberate level of recovery. Unfortunately, adding rest days is something that is seldom done by a runner on their quest to forward progress so the added speedwork often results in injury.
Like most things, the threshold at which a runner can handle speedwork is a person thing. A conservative estimate is to do no more than 1 day of speedwork a week, and that is a schedule that will work well for most runners. Some people may be better served by doing 1 session every two weeks, while others will be able to do several in a week. The important thing is to find the limit at which you can train and not get injured. Just because you get away with 2 speed sessions one week doesn’t mean that is a formula that will work long term. A good guideline to follow is when in doubt, drop the speedwork and run it easy.
Running form is a tricky thing and changes should be addressed with caution. However, as a general rule of thumb, runners that run with their heels striking first will absorb more impact forces into their legs and lower body which could eventually result in injury. It is a generally agreed upon principle that running so that the forward foot lands on the midfoot directly under the runner’s center of gravity provides the least amount of ground contact time and the least amount of impact force to travel up through the leg.
When runners “heel strike”, they land with the forward foot landing in front of them heel first, which essentially provides a braking action. This braking action also causes impact forces to go up into the leg and be absorbed into the joints of the lower body which can, over time, cause injury. Changes to running form should, however, be exercised with caution and occur gradually over time.