Racing to the Top – How to prevent running injuries

With the weather getting nicer and race season getting started, a lot of runners or runners-to-be are starting to ramp up their training.  Which is great!  Everyone should strive to improve every day, whether that means getting that extra mile or shaving off that extra second, having goals and actively working toward those goals is one of the most rewarding aspects of fitness.  People have a tendency to overdo stuff though, and runners are often the most guilty group.

The most common cause of running injuries is from trying to increase mileage too fast.  Whether you’re doing your first 5k and you’ve never run more than a mile or you’re about to run the Eugene Marathon after a few light training months, there needs to be some long-term progression.  Going from 0 to 100 is a great way to get an injury.

Progressing your running training takes time, and the longer the race the more time you’re going to need to get up to your race distance.  The amount that you’ve been running also sets the bar for how much of an increase you should be able to tolerate.

A golden rule for increasing your distance is the 10% rule.

Basically, if you’re normally running 10 miles, you shouldn’t increase your mileage per week by more than 1 mile (10% of 10 miles).  So if you’re that 10 mile runner aiming for a half marathon (13 miles), you’re pretty close!  You only need 3 weeks to get up to race distance.  If you’re aiming for a full 26 mile marathon, you’re going to need a couple months to do some training.

Programs like Couch to 5k are actually effective because they follow this principle. Most running programs you find online are going to have some sort of progression, and the good ones are going to keep you healthy.  Runner’s World has tons of training programs, from 5k training to marathon training, as well as a host of other tips and articles.

If you’ve got interest in an upcoming race (the Eugene marathon is just around the corner!) and you aren’t sure if you’ll be ready, ask someone!  Physical therapists, running coaches, and personal trainers can help answer your questions and make sure you make it to race day with the right programming and without running injuries.

Got questions?  Feel limited in what you’re able to do?  The staff at Limitless Physical Therapy in Eugene, OR can show you how to be limitless. Contact us to connect with on of our PTs. Or follow us on Facebook.

***The above information, including text, images, and all other materials, is provided for educational purposes only, and not as a replacement or supplement to professional medical advice.  Please contact a certified healthcare professional or your primary physician for any personal concerns.

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