Injury Prevention Key to Running Longevity

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Injury Prevention Key to Running Longevity

Warm Up, Stretching, Strength Training, Plyometrics

Mercy Health Tip of the Week

Injury prevention in the runners world can be just as significant as management of an injury once an individual has been injured. Once an runner has sustained an injury, the runner will continue to feel pain and irritation with their abilities until the injury has healed. An runner that takes the time to properly warm up and take preventative approaches to running has decreased the chances sustaining the same injury. Properly taking the time to stretch, helping improve range of motion, can help reduce running injuries as well. With this, a runner could withstand more of a stress to the body and not receive any injuries.

Proper injury prevention can be a variety of things. Activities such as proper warm up, stretching, strength training, and plyometrics can help prepare an individual for higher levels of activities. These activities are great for both runners that exercise at a recreational level and those which compete on a more competitive level. Each of these exercises serve different purposes.

Properly warming up helps warm up the muscles and prepares them for more rigorous exercises. Examples of such are jogging or riding a bike. Stretching helps lengthen the muscle and improves range of motion. For example, when a runner stretches the hamstring group by keeping both legs straight and touching ones toes can help improve range of motion and allow for more movement with less risk of injury. Strength training will assist to strengthen muscles which could help an individual handle more stress when applied to them.

In the runner more emphasis now is placed on the hip and core musculature. Plyometrics are usually for those with a more competitive choice in exercising but are beneficial to all running skill levels. However, pre-adolescent runners must use caution and supervision when doing plyometrics as there are increased forces to the joint line and tendon to bone attachments. These activities allow the individual to quickly recall more muscle recruitment in a faster period of time. For example, the amount of time it would take for an individual to land and then to take off running can be improved with plyometric exercises.

Injury prevention in the runner may also include an assessment of foot mechanics as over pronation or supination can create injuries to other parts of the lower extremity, hip or back.

In all, preventative medicine is a rather simple topic that can be overlooked at times. Taking the time to properly prepare the body can be beneficial. It prepares the body for more activities and allows the individual to be ready for more stress.

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* This content is not intended to replace any formal training plans directed by licensed coaches. You should always get your doctors go-ahead prior to embarking on any fitness regime. Mercy Health, Glass City Marathon and the Toledo Roadrunners Club are not offering this content to replace a monitored training plan. — Use this content as conversation starters with your doctors, nutritionists, coaches, etc.