Run Strong For Life

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

13 key ways to stay in­jury-free and find out how prone you re­ally are to run­ning ail­ments

ast or slow, young or old, all run­ners share a com­mon goal: to avoid in­jury. One man who knows a thing or two about those dreaded in­juries is Dr Reed Fer­ber. The pro­fes­sor of ki­ne­si­ol­ogy and di­rec­tor of The Univer­sity of Cal­gary’s Run­ning In­jury Clinic in Canada has coined a rather telling nick­name for those run­ners among us who man­age to re­main truly in­jury-free: ‘golden uni­corns.’ Yes, he be­lieves that such run­ners re­ally are that elu­sive. In fact, Fer­ber says that as many as 80 per cent of run­ners will de­velop run­ning-re­lated com­plaints each year. His job, of course, is to fix those aches and pains when they strike. But his ul­ti­mate goal – and the fo­cus of his cur­rent re­search – is to iden­tify the biome­chan­i­cal and life­style habits of those golden uni­corns. By do­ing so, Fer­ber hopes to cre­ate a com­plete blue­print of an in­jury-re­sis­tant run­ner that oth­ers will be able to fol­low.

His work adds to that of other re­searchers all aim­ing to bet­ter un­der­stand the causes of overuse in­juries. Some is­sues lie be­yond your con­trol, such as the way your body is built. But in other cases, there are iden­ti­fi­able risk fac­tors that can be ad­dressed, po­ten­tially ward­ing off in­juries be­fore they strike.

So we asked Dr Fer­ber and other lead­ing in­jury-pre­ven­tion ex­perts – doc­tors, biome­chan­ics re­searchers and phys­io­ther­a­pists – to iden­tify com­mon weak­nesses in run­ners’ bod­ies, train­ing pro­grammes and life­styles. We com­piled th­ese fac­tors to cre­ate the in­jury-risk pre­dic­tor quiz that you will find on the fol­low­ing pages. Use it to help you gauge your like­li­hood of spend­ing time on the side­lines. Next to each risk fac­tor, you’ll find strate­gies from our ex­perts to mit­i­gate the dan­ger. Com­bine all the spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tions that ap­ply to you and you’ll have a be­spoke, tar­geted in­jury-pre­ven­tion plan. Put that advice into prac­tice and you’ll take a big step to­wards be­com­ing one of those elu­sive ( but not quite myth­i­cal) beasts.

Have you just started run­ning in a new type of shoe? Do you have weak hips?

How many days per week do you run? Are you a woman? Do you over­stride?

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