Injury Free Running Guidelines

Tuesday July 20, 2021

Injury Free Running Guidelines

What do you think causes injuries in runners? Answer: running. All right, so that response is a bit tongue in cheek. Shall we break this down more? Let’s go.


About 25-50% of runners sustain an injury that causes a change in their training (van der Worp et al 2015). Almost all running-related injuries (RRI) occur in the lower extremities. Injury from running can result from a runner’s physical make-up, such as decreased strength, flexibility or joint range of motion. Running-related mechanical faults or training errors can also cause injury. Mechanical faults may include over-striding or improper deceleration. Training errors may include inappropriate mileage, frequency, intensity, or progression.


So, how can we prevent these RRI from occurring in the first place?


The key is understanding how each of our individual body’s adapt to the training loads that we place on them. Overuse injuries occur from an overload of the body’s anatomical structures (bones, tendons, muscles). Every new stimulus needs to be integrated gradually (i.e., volume, intensity, hills, surfaces, shoes).


Here are some guidelines (provided in agreement with the University of WI Sports Department recommendations) that may help reduce the chance of running-related injuries:


• No more than a 10 percent increase in mileage per week (novice runners)

• Consider walk-run intervals

• Work up to 30 minutes of continuous jogging before

adding any speed work or hills

• Consider a step rate of 170–180 (work up to this!)

• Vary the surface, but progress your training on

the surface on which you plan to compete

• Consider cross-training activity

(ie: biking, swimming, elliptical)

• Select a shoe that is comfortable to wear

• Use an appropriate dynamic warm-up program

• Implement an appropriate strengthening program


We may not all be pro runners but having a team of specialists to help guide you through your run training and to rehab an injury is a good idea. Your team may include a medical provider, physical therapist, strength coach, nutrition specialist, and a run coach.


Sisu Therapies now offers Runner’s Analysis as part of your rehabilitation or for performance improvement. Through use of high-speed video capture and biomechanical software, we are can objectively analyze your movement patterns and identify muscle imbalances and training faults that may cause injuries. For more information about our Runner’s Analysis, please fill out our online Request An Appointment form or call (970) 561-7111.