I would love it if clients came to me to learn how to run BEFORE they get injured, but the truth is they usually don’t. They get injured and THEN come to me because they are sick and tired of their injuries. Of course they are! No one likes to get sidelined from their sports.

My clients and students say, “Please help me make running injuries a thing of the past!”

And then I tell them, “It’s all in HOW you run!”

By this I mean, it’s all in the technique.

Running injuries are not inevitable, yet so many people, because of their own experience with injuries, believe that they are. The idea that running by itself causes injury is a myth.

The most common injuries like runner’s knee, shin splints, IT band syndrome, and plantar fasciitis are, in most cases, preventable.

Injuries can happen for all sorts of reasons but someone who is using good running technique will have fewer injuries. When you know what good running technique is and listen to your body, watching for signs that something is off, you will have fewer injuries and potentially none at all.

Many people have a desire to run, but are afraid because of the potential for injury. Some folks think because of their age it’s too late to start running. It’s a common question, “Aren’t I too old to start running? Isn’t it too dangerous for someone my age?” My answer in most cases is, “No, you’re not too old and running is NOT dangerous, if you run correctly. That’s why I teach people HOW to run”.

This makes total sense to me. If you were wanting to learn how to play golf, swim, play tennis, or how to paint or take better photos, you’d probably take lessons. Not only to learn how to do those things well, but how to do them safely and have fun, too.

So shouldn’t the same thing hold true for running?

Whether you’re just a regular jogger, getting out there to get some exercise, or wanting to do one of those charity runs, running is more fun, and safer if you know what you’re doing.

While I can’t cover every injury prevention tip we teach in my workshops, here are my top 3 tips:

  1. When in pain, make a change in your running form
  2. Upgrade your running program gradually
  3. Deep slow stretches after your run, not short bouncy ones

In Pain? Change your running form!

If you’re in pain when running then learn what you’re doing wrong and make a correction. If you’re in pain you can almost always do something about it. You might be needing to engage your core muscles more. If you knee hurts, it could be several things, but find out and make a change. You might be over striding or landing in front of your center of gravity. So many things can be adjusted in your technique! Let’s find them and make adjustments so you can get out of pain and prevent long term injury.

Upgrade Your Running Program Gradually!

If I’ve helped you design your running program, then you’ll know when to do this.

If not, this is a crucial mistake people make.

When you’re learning something new, adding runs to your running schedule or adding speed or distance, it is always best to do this gradually. Doing too much too soon is a recipe for an injury. I’ve written about this before because allowing our egos to push us beyond what our bodies are ready for is never a good idea. Setting reasonable goals and taking your time is the recipe for success. It’s also the recipe for enjoying running without injury for the rest of your life!

3. Stretching before exercise is one of those topics that garners many differing opinions. Here’s mine!

I don’t teach runners to stretch BEFORE runs, but I do teach them joint mobility and neural warm-ups to use before they run. Stretching comes AFTER a run.

For the post run stretches, think Yoga style. No bouncy stretches. A good stretch should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds. Don’t push your stretch too far, but take your time and relax into a deep place of flexibility. Listen to what your muscles are telling you after your run. If your calves are tight, you may be overusing them. If your shoulders are tight maybe during your run they were too tense and up by your ears instead of relaxed.

These are just a few things you can do so that running doesn’t create injuries for you. After all, isn’t running injury-free for the rest of your life the goal? To learn more, click here.