Many cyclists cross train to increase performance. Running is a great cross training activity, but can come with potential injuries that need to be managed. triathletes need to also maintain a training balance across all three disciplines to ensure a good performance.
Scientific studies show that roughly 60-65% of all runners suffer from running injuries during an average year. Comparing this to other endurance sports the associated risks of running are higher but still running is far from being the most injury producing sport.
Runners could also significantly lower their injury rates if they knew more about the actual causes of injuries and made a few simple adjustments in their techniques and training loads. Research suggests that running injuries could be cut by around 25% if these were taken into consideration.
There are 5 injury hotspots for runners.
Knee – 25-30% of all running injuries Calf/Shin – 20% of all running injuries ITB – The iliotibial band – 10% of all running injuries Achilles Tendon – 8-10% of all running injuries Foot – 10% of all running injuries
Roughly 25% of all running injuries require a medical consultation and 75% of runners who seek medical advice report either an excellent recovery. 65% of runners report that they are running pain free after 8 weeks of treatment with ITB problems requiring the longest recovery period.
The part of your body most at risk from injury seems to depend on the running distance being performed. Marathon runners most often suffer from foot problems, middle distance runners usually have back and hip related injuries, and sprinters most often tear their hamstrings. The best predictor or a running injury is a prior history of injury. 50% of running injuries are actually recurrence of previous problems. Injury prone body parts need to be strengthened considerably with running specific exercises to drop the risk of an injury recurring.
The key to reducing the risk of injury is to develop training strategies which promote healing or injury prone body parts. Training loads should be adjusted and reducing the consecutive days of training will lower the risk of injury. Catastrophic injuries are uncommon in runners but the repetitive motions of running does produce lots of little strains and inflammations. These small problems can develop into major difficulties if the right steps aren’t taken. If you want to toughen your training with raising the risk of injury too much, a good strategy is to slower raise your average training speed, instead of increasing additional kilometres.
Remember that the best predictor of injury is your past history, so if you hurt something previously so be careful of that body part as your injury risk is 50% greater than the lucky runners who have been injury free.
Source: Optomo 2015.