With so many exciting races in the fall and spring, drawing ever closer, many runners are either beginning or increasing their training programs. The goal of any training program is to gradually condition your body for the physiological demands of running. Many of us will train to ‘just’ finish a race, others train intensively to set a personal best in a race. Whatever your motivation to run a race, whether you are a veteran runner or a beginner runner, you want to run your absolute best.
Unfortunately, so many runners will not have the opportunity to train and race as well as they had hoped. Injury is all too common in the sport of running. If you speak to almost any runner, they likely have been injured at some point in their running career, even elite runners are prone to injury. So, what causes injuries?
A study that gives us some insight into Vancouverites’ running injuries was conducted by Dr. Jack Taunton between 2000 and 2001. The study examined 1265 runners participating in a 13-week training program. The study took many different variables into account to see which variable contributed most to running injuries. Some of these variables were: running shoe age and type, running surfaces, previous training history, previous history of injury, weekly running frequency, and cross-training frequency. Shockingly, 31.6% of all runners reported injuries in these 13-weeks of Sun Run training!
Dr. Jack Taunton concluded from this study there are two things that predicted injury more than anything else: previous history of athletic injuries and incomplete or poor rehabilitation of previous injuries. Interestingly, “runner’s knee” was the most common source of injury in the group of 1265 runners. Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and iliotibial band syndrome were common injuries as well in the group.
So, how does one stay injury free? There is no simple answer; however, here are some good rules to go by:
1) Make sure you don’t have any pre-existing or lingering pain/injuries before and during training. If in doubt, rest and consult with a professional such as your chiropractor
2) Do not increase your training volume by more than 5% or 10% per week, your body needs time to adapt to the demands of training. Too much, too fast leads to injury
3) Above all, listen to your body and what it’s telling you! Work in rest days to your training schedule
Happy running 😊
If you are looking for an awesome group of people to train with my personal favorite running clinics and clubs are:
Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club: http://vfac.ca/
Forerunners training clinics: https://forerunners.ca/
If you are looking to run your first half-marathon this is perhaps one of Vancouver’s best half-marathons… coming up soon:
Pacific Road Runners First Half-Half Marathon: http://firsthalf.ca/
Dr. Jonathan Lloyd trains with the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club. His favorite distance was the half-marathon with a personal best time of 1:16:00. In his spare time, Dr. Lloyd enjoys running the Stanley Park Seawall and the North Shore trails.