Last night my kids and I were playing a game of four-square in the driveway. Somehow I jumped up and landed the wrong way, and I tweaked my knee a bit. Obviously, this accident is not a running injury, and at this point I am fairly sure that I am the only person who has ever had a four-square accident. However, the point is that the injury did make me think about the blog, and I decided to discuss how to prevent injuries. While accidents may not always be prevented, many injuries can be.
As someone who is just starting out as a runner, and learning everything you can about running for beginners, injury-prevention is one important running tip you should keep in mind. Someone once said ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. And this quote definitely still rings true today. I do intend on writing about injury treatment, but first lets discuss prevention first so that we can hopefully minimize the number of treatments required.
Causes of Running Injury
There are several causes of running injury, which include improper warm-up and cool-down, accidents, wearing the wrong kind of shoes for running, your body type and weight, muscle strength or imbalance. However, today I am just going to focus on how improper form can prevent injury. You may also want to read this article on running technique that I have written that discusses proper technique in detail.
Poor Form Will Catch up to You
The body is an amazing machine with many moving parts. When one part gets slightly out of balance, the body has a way of compensating for the imbalance. However, the compensation that the body makes usually has a negative long-term consequence. For example, take someone who runs with poor posture, with the head and shoulders leaning over the hips. The lower back and hamstrings must work extra hard to pick up the extra weight of this imbalance. In the short term, it may actually be easier to run this way, but in the long term something will be affected. Your lower back and hammies could eventually become overly tight, strained, or even sprained. Eventually, you may become injured and unable to run. These kinds of problems do not happen overnight. Rather, the issue has been developing for some time.
The thing that is difficult is that bad form is difficult to break. In fact, it is impossible to run with perfect form. But improving your running form is important to staying injury-free. In addition, the more mileage you put in, the more the issues will become magnified over time. The key is to find out how you can improve your running form, and work on those areas.
Nobody likes to get a boo-boo, so it is important to prevent them from happening in the first place. By having good form, we can prevent many injuries from happening. If you want to learn more about running with good form, read the post on running technique for more information.
What do you think?
Have you had any injuries due to poor running form?
Go read the article on running technique, and select one area of running form to work on.