This is the first one of a series of articles about injury prevention for runners.
- Part 2: 10 Common Running Injuries – Prevention and Treatment
- Part 3: Think Like an Athlete, Cross Training for Runners
- Part 4: My Secret Pre-Race Warm Up
And we are going to start by defining an injury in a very simplistic way.
But that simplicity is the foundation of injury prevention. If we have a simple way of defining a problem, we can come up with simple ways of solving it.
So, What is a Running Injury?
A running injury is a pain we feel caused by the inflammation, a tear or a rupture in a part of your body, that does not allow you to run or makes running uncomfortable.
So, our primary focus is to keep all parts of our body from being inflamed, tearing or breaking. That includes muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and the cartilage in our joints.
In average 90% of runners experience an injury or pain that makes them miss at least one week of training a year.
A study conducted at Harvard Medical School that followed 249 experienced female recreational runners over two years, showed that 100 of those women reported sustaining an injury that was serious enough to require medical attention, That´s 40%.
So, don’t feel like you are alone when you get injured, and don’t worry because you have to miss a week of training and you keep thinking that all your competitors are training all the time and gaining an advantage over you.
The goal of Runner on Fire is that you can run as consistently as possible without getting injured.
But, Why do We Get Injured?
When we feel pain in a part of our body, it is because it is inflamed, torn or has experienced some sort of breakage. It’s because we either put it under stress that it`s not used to or because we put it under too much stress in a short amount of time.
And there are two main factors that make this happens:
- We run too much
- We run to fast
For someone that is just starting to run, too much can be as little as one mile.
And for someone that is running 45 miles a week, too much can be increasing to 60 miles in a one-week period.
There is no rule that says how much is too much, and how fast is too fast.
The lesson here is that both speed training (running too fast) and distance running (running too much) are stressful. Never increase both at the same time.
But we know that we need to keep running more and faster all the time to improve and become better and faster runners.
And that is precisely the purpose of Runners on Fire: to teach you how you can run further and faster consistently without getting injured.