Top 5 tips for injury-free running

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The majority of running injuries we see at KTB are due to ‘training error’ and can be easily avoided.
Ali Cann, one of our physiotherapists and regular runner gives her top 5 tips to help prevent injury.

  • Make strength and conditioning part of your training programme

This, for me, is a key part of injury prevention strategy/prehab. Working on your strength, balance and flexibility not only reduces your risk of injury but can actually improve your running.

A good sports physio will be able to help you with this.

  • Mix it up…

Running at the same pace on the same route each time can not only be boring, it can also lead to overloading of certain structures.

Instead, try varying the purpose of each of your runs throughout the week.

For instance, if you run 3 times a week, try one long, slow run, one shorter tempo run, and one interval training session working on speed or hill strength. This will not only add variety but should improve your running too. It can also help you work towards your goal and avoid overload.

  • Make any changes gradually

While I highly recommend adding variety, be sure to do it slowly – drastic change can be disastrous!

All too often, I see runners with injuries because they suddenly decided to increase the distance or speed of their runs.

As a rule, we suggest you don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%. Likewise, you should be cautious when altering other factors such as speed, terrain, gradient, frequency and even your trainers.

Introduce changes slowly and allow your body the time it needs to adapt.

  • The dread ‘R’ word!

You’ve guessed it…rest!

It’s not something most runners are fond of, but rest is vital.

Our bodies need time to recover, repair and adapt to the stresses of training. Without this we are putting ourselves at risk.

There’s no single rule for everyone; some people may be able to run twice a day, every day and just take one rest day a week. Others may need alternate days off.

What’s important is that you listen to your body and do what works for you.

  • Have a plan

If you have a race coming up, a training plan will help you to focus so that you can achieve your goals and get to race day injury-free.

There are loads of free resources online whether you are preparing for your first 5km Parkrun or your fifth marathon.

But don’t get too hung up on your plan – if you’re feeling under the weather don’t force yourself to go out for that long run just because that’s what’s in the schedule…be sensible!

Missing one or even a few runs won’t make that much difference but training when you’re ill could lead to injury and cause a real set-back. Book a physiotherapy appointment to help you stay injury-free and help your body during your training or regular fitness.