Through my work as a physiotherapist I'm very lucky to get to work with a lot of runners and I have certainly come to realise one thing about runners...they just want to RUN!
Running has quickly become one of the highest participation sports/fitness activities in the UK, with Sports Marketing Surveys inc listing running as the second highest participation sport in the UK, only behind swimming. Further to this, England Sport reports over 2 million people in England get out to turn the legs over at least once a week.
These stats are unsurprising really, there's probably no simpler way to get a great cardio work out than dusting off the trainers and hitting the road/path/track/trail. Add on to this the supportive and social environments offered by running clubs and the wonderful Parkruns that happen every Saturday morning around the globe, it's easy to see why running is so popular.
Despite it's popularity and simplicity, running has one of the highest rates of injury of any physical activity. Runners World reports up to 80% of runners will sustain an injury whilst running every year (Gent et al, 2007) and a study released just this year showed that almost 50% of the runners surveyed were currently injured, with 86% of them continuing to run despite it causing pain! (Linton & Valentin, 2018).
Taking all of this into consideration I think it's extremely important to look at ways to reduce injuries in runners so that you can keep experiencing all of the benefits running has to offer. To help to keep you out on the road, here are my big 3 tips for reducing your injury risk whilst running;
1. Manage your loads
2. Rest and recover
3. Get stronger
LOAD MANAGEMENT ⚖️🏃🏿♀️
Probably the leading reason runners come to see me in the clinic is that they have done too much! This is usually either running too many days in a row or ramping up the distances/intensity of their running very quickly!
The other side of load management is the non-physical loading, such as work stress, family stress or lack of sleep. As Running Coach Mark Yabsley says "you take everything out with you on your run", sometimes it's easy to overlook these factors when thinking about our training load. Check out Mark on twitter @equinox_coach.
Here are some simple ways to manage your loads to reduce injury risk;