10 key points to perform and stay an injury-free runner
Here are the different points most runners want to consider in order to increase their performance while minimizing the odds of getting injured.
1. The majority of runners sustain an overuse injury over a 1-year period.
2. Chose dynamic stretches over static stretches before a run. You want to increase your body temperature.
3. Knee pain is the most common area of complaint with runners. It often relates to a problem at the ankle and/or the hip.
4. In most cases, improving ankle mobility and increasing gluteus muscle strength is beneficial. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip external rotators are important muscle groups to strengthen, too.
5. Hamstrings are the most important muscle to stretch/improve flexibility.
6. Pick the most comfortable shoes you can try. Do not choose a model that will accentuate your natural foot type. Flat feet? Motion-control shoes should feel better. High arch? Try cushioning/neutral. Minimalist shoes are not the go-to/best available option. It is a valid option that requires a careful and progressive transition.
7. Gait retraining is a good option to increase performance while preventing pain.
8. Foot orthotics can help to control symptoms in acute pain phases.
9. Anatomical “issues”, like asymmetrical leg length or misaligned pelvis, have little impact in comparison to muscle imbalance. Focus on getting stronger.
10. Reduce the volume of running when you sustain an overuse injury. Try 50% first.
This is a generic list, so you do not have to necessarily focus on each and every aspect described. Some might be more beneficial to you than others, depending on your running and fitness level.
For some more specific advice, feel free to book an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists.