Beat the Seven Body Breakdowns

Prevent and recover from the seven most common running injuries



by Christine Aschwanden

common running injuries, prevent common running injuries, recover running injury
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In an ideal runner's world, every step would be pain-free. No aches, no twinges and no lingering soreness from yesterday. But in the real world, we constantly deal with slight (or not-so-slight) niggles.

There are 'red light' full-blown injuries that require time off, and there's the 'green light' with only transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next. Unfortunately, many of us get stuck in the middle, ploughing through those not-quite-injured-but-not-quite-healthy amber lights.

Whether you hit red, linger on amber or get the green depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. "Often it comes down to whether you take a little time off now, or a lot of time off later," says sports injury specialist Dr Richard Price.

You can cut your risk of amber turning red by dropping mileage, reducing intensity or starting treatment. You can dodge red lights altogether with a proactive long-term injury prevention strategy, including strength training, stretching and regular foam rolling.

"Physical therapy is like homework," says Price. "None of us like having to do it, but  if you don't, the issue will recur."

Price and the team of top sports injury experts you'll hear from over the following pages have isolated the seven running injury hotspots that are the most frequently affected. Learning to read the signs and take the right action for rehab and prevention will keep your running in the green light.

Illustrations: Jonathon Rosen


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Discuss this article

Ballet foot exercises work really well for the plantar fasciitis.  They sorted my pain right out.  I have also started doing planks which seem to be helping as well.


Posted: 19/08/2011 at 22:52

They forgot the most obvious and common one. The stomach! Affects 1/3 of runners, if previous articles are to believed, and causes inescapable misery that can strike no matter how fit you are, no matter how much training you've done.


Posted: 23/08/2011 at 20:56

Great article! I have stopped running for just on 7 weeks with plantar fasciitis and am desperate to start running again, but still experiencing pain so not in the ''Go run!'' zone just yet...... Kimberlee, are ballet foot excercises just pointing and straightening your toes??


Posted: 23/08/2011 at 23:58

I have been diagnosed with Runner's Knee.  I'm finding it a long and slow rehab process.  I originally stopped running for a month (after attempting a couple of runs and being in pain throughout).  Since then the knee has got better, but it's still very painful after about 5k.  To the point that I can't actually run much further than this at the moment.

I've been given lots of physio and strengthening exercises to do.  Just feel quite depressed at the moment as nothing seems to be helping.  Maybe I want a quick fix and it's not going to be one.  I am signed up for a half marathon in October and really not sure whether to pull out.


Posted: 25/08/2011 at 12:49

Listen to your body.

If you are training for say a marathon or half marathon where the volume of training will require you to run consistently for maybe five days a week you are bound to feel tired either due to overtraining or general fatigue.

There are certain runners who feel that if they miss even a single training session then their fitness will suffer.

Wearing ill fitting shoes or running when feeling unwell due to a heavy cold or such like can result in muscle injury.

Simply over doing it and not listening to your body can result in injuries.

Check your heartrate regularly and if it's abnormally high think of some other form of excercise or even rest.

The secret to successfull running is to remain injury free and with a little sense and listening to your body injury's are not inevitable

YOU JUST HAVE TO TRAIN NOT STRAIN


Posted: 11/10/2011 at 16:23

what about back pain? i'm always suffering with it post-run, and have tried backward stretches lying on my tummy, but it hasn't helped. and when i lower my legs for 'that' ab exercise i get a clunking sound... i don't really have the time or inclination to start yoga...
Posted: 08/02/2012 at 11:06

Hey not sure if you still use this, but i have the same thing and feeling the exact same way, how are you getting on? did you manage to get rid of it and run your half marathon?
Posted: 22/04/2012 at 19:32

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