Increasing running mileage in preparation for a race or goal unfortunately does increase injury risk.  So, what can you do to avoid becoming one of those unfortunate people who suffer an injury from running?

Exploration of the research literature shows that the biggest factor for causing running injuries is not surprisingly – running! However, the solution is not to stop running. So, what else then causes running injuries?

A study published in 2014 by Saragiotto et al. asked runners what they think causes running injuries. The common answers given were:

  • Not stretching
  • Not warming up
  • Wearing the wrong shoes
  • Lack of strength
  • Excessive training
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Not respecting the body’s limitations

The research literature however does not agree with a number of these beliefs on what causes running injuries. There is currently no evidence to support the notion that stretching before or after a run, warming up before a run, wearing the correct shoes and eating a balanced diet significantly reduces running injuries.

The runners from this study were however correct in stating that excessive training causes running injuries. It has been estimated that between 60-80% of running injuries is due to training error where the training load exceeds the capacity of the tissue. This normally occurs when the increase in running volume (how much), intensity (how hard) and frequency (how often) is too fast for the tissues to adapt too, with injuries resulting. An injury in the previous twelve months and a higher body mass index has also been linked to a higher risk of a running injury.

Physiotherapists can provide solutions to these issues before they arise with education and specific exercise prescription. These methods are also applicable to those already suffering from running injuries. If you’re a runner in need of further management over your training, contact us today!