What are some of the more common areas people can sustain injuries to while they are training for a marathon, ½ marathons, 10k, or 5k?
As we run our feet, legs, pelvis, and spine have to absorb up to 8 times our body weight each time we land. This increased force on our joints and muscles can really take a toll on our body. Thus, injuries can include the foot, ankle, lower leg, knee, thigh, hip, and lower back.
How do most of these injuries occur?
Typically, injuries occur as the result of poor mechanics, reduced flexibility, weakness, and not allowing enough time to heal.
What should every runner be doing to prevent injury?
First, a good stretching program is key. When we have a tight muscle it can prevent normal motion from occurring. This then leads to abnormal movements and can increase stress elsewhere in the body. If this goes unchecked it can lead to injury.
Second, strengthening the legs. Running puts more force into your body when you land, and you have to strengthen the muscles of the legs so that they are able to absorb these forces without injury.
If people do not know what to stretch or strengthen, a physical therapist can help guide and prepare one for a race and keep you safe while you train.
What advice would you give to someone who is training and currently feeling pain?
Regardless of whether the pain you are experiencing is acute or chronic, sharp or dull, there is a reason for the pain. And the pain is acting as a warning light telling you that something needs to be fixed. When this is happening, it is time to see a physical therapist who can assess your strength, flexibility, and running.
What if someone is not currently in pain, but is simply unsure of running mechanics, how fast to progress their running, or what exercises they should be doing?
The easiest thing to do is to come into Mettler Center and take advantage of a free, 30-minute consult where a physical therapist can assess your condition and give a recommendation of what to do next. We can also spend time talking about how to safely progress and assess one's movement patterns. We are here to help you achieve your goals while functioning at your best.