Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Running Injuries Seminar

I've already mentioned that my employer is happily very focused on health and fitness. Not to give too much away, we have a scenic environment and a young community, and we're lucky that the culture supports and even encourages us to head out to a fitness class, swim, or walk at lunchtime, rather than staying chained to our desks.

New offerings from our health program for 2010 include some track sessions and seminars aimed at runners. By happy coincidence, a lunchtime talk on Running Injuries was offered this week. I, of course, toddled along and felt I had 'found my tribe' when I entered the roomful of 20-40-something women all wearing business casual with running shoes.

This was the first time a seminar like this had been offered and it was not without a few teething troubles. The subject area is clearly huge and almost everyone in the room had their own injury or concern to talk about ;)
Another problem with current science is that things like stretching, and even whether or not we should even wear running shoes, have become controversial.

However, I did pick up a few interesting nuggets from the physiotherapist, including the distinction between a stretch when the muscle is lengthened versus shortened. (Sorry, too complex to repeat here with any confidence that I won't be feeding you garbage!). He also had an engaging way of referring to the following mistakes as things that give him job security:
  • Not investing in the right shoes (as he said, either spend your cash on your shoes, or the co-payments to seek treatment from him)
  • Running every day (but do cross-train, instead)
  • Tackling hills too soon
These sound so simple, but to be honest my shoes are probably past their prime and since my knee trouble could well be due to over/under pronation, I really should get my feet assessed. And I was certainly guilty of trying to run more than 3-4 times per week: it's interesting that most marathon training plans have us out there 5-6 times, whereas my hubby ran a perfectly successful and pretty pain-free first marathon on just 3 (quality) sessions.

So, no rocket science here, but some useful reminders nonetheless. After all, with several times your bodyweight landing a couple of thousand times per mile, running is no picnic and our bodies deserve a bit of respect.

Photo thanks: Milen Yakimov


  1. My latest running injury is skinned hands and knees and bruised ribs from an unexpected fall last night! How soon is too soon to take on hills? I was planning to take my running buddy on the hills next week, but don't want to do her in!

  2. That is such a great post. I especially liked the investment in good shoes. It is so important!

  3. He's so right. A good pair of shoes can really make a difference, especially if you overpronate (roll inward thanks to low/no arches). I've noticed a big difference with my knee pain ever since I got orthotics and the proper (um, pricey) running shoes.

    PS You're so lucky your health plan/work offers that!

  4. The second I started running more that 4 times a week--guess what started hurting me? Where was this post 2 weeks ago? Thanks tho. It is very helpful--as is your encouragement!


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