Runners tend to just run.
Now that probably is a very dumb sounding statement, but hear me out………
……Most runners do not supplement their running with a resistance based exercise or even have movement preps placed in their training.
Their warm-up is running that warms them up into the run.
That is word for word what the runners that come to see me say.
Below are 5 things you can incorporate into your running program to reduce likelihood of injuries that occur commonly.
1. Movement Abilities – Can you touch toes and rotate?
Touching your toes seems like a trivial task for some, but is a great indicator in telling us how well you can open up the backside of your body.
For someone that is limited, they will tend to have a stiffer back and have hamstring tightness. With this stiffness, their ability to rotate from one side to the next will be limited as well.
If you have a limited
2. Pelvic position – HS bridge and strength Hamstring bridge video
If you have a forward pelvis then you are placing increased stress on the hamstrings.
Work on changing the pelvis position to gain more control and strengthen the hamstrings more. (See below).
Dig the heels down and let the pelvis roll under without crunching the abs. You want the back of the mid thighs engaged and not behind the knees. Keep digging as the hips roll under and lift for 8-10 reps. Exhale on lifts.
3. Perform Lateral Strength Training
Running is a very straight forward movement, but there are instances of shifting side to side as you go form one leg to the next.
Learning how to do exercises such as a lateral step up or side plank variations can be beneficial in learning how to gain access in each side of the body.
4. Get More Bounce
Runner's should work on improving the spring action of the lower extremity with light warm-ups such as pogos, marches, and skips to be more efficient.
Every time the foot strikes the ground, it absorbs energy and needs to recoil. If this is slow, then you are less efficient and use more muscle energy causing increased fatigue and potential for injury.
They should also work on the absorption phases by sticking the landing on small hops from one leg to the next. This way they can efficiently transfer weight in the lower extremity before pushing off.
5. Change Intensity and Pacing
Having a speed day and a lower intensity day are beneficial in improving performance and keeping you more well-rounded, rather than always doing the same thing.
Sped doesn't mean sprinting. It just means aim to run short distances (100m or less) at 6-7/10 speed. Then walk back and repeat 2-3 times, followed by a 2 minute rest, Repeat that block 2-3 more times.
The speed day allows you to utilize the spring actions more and improve your aerobic endurance at a faster pace which can help facilitate faster mile times without having complete exhaustion or hurting performance.
Follow this training up with another day of a longer run at a slightly slower pace than the average mile time to build overall endurance and loading tolerance on the lower extremity.
You can pair the tempo/speed runs with regular training days or have it as a separate day.
That's 5 things runners can do to help reduce injury rates and improve performance. These are easy tips that can be implanted INSTANTLY.
Have questions or want more information on how to improve your running season?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will personally answer you.
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and enjoys to help active adults maintain their lifestyle and provide natural solutions to their pain.