Running Away From Injury:

3 Exercises for Runner’s Injury Prevention

Distance running has taken off in popularity over the past few decades and there is no indication the trend will end anytime soon.  And why would it?  Running is a low-maintenance, throw-on-some-shoes and go kind of workout.  It doesn’t require fancy machines, a specific location or special equipment. Washington D.C. is a particularly beautiful place to run, whether along the Mall and its monuments, or on the city’s hundreds of miles of trails and paths.

Although running is a great form of exercise, it comes with risk of injury when performed by those unprepared for the training.  The statistics are all over the map, but anywhere from 19%-92% of runners will suffer a running-related injury.  Even if the statistics aren’t clear, when Runner’s World has a specific website dedicated to the topic of injuries you can be sure they are common.

Many new runners fall into the “Terrible Toos”: too much, too soon, too fast.  Despite being warned to avoid this, we repeat the mistakes of past runners and get injured.  Recent studies have shown that if the 10% rule is not followed, you have a higher risk for injury.  Meaning, increasing distance, time and or speed by more than 10% per week sets you up for injury.

Seasoned runners are not immune to running injuries, and as the saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Purist runners like to run; not lift weights, not go to group classes…just run. And like most, we do what we like in the gym not always what we need.  Solely focusing on running, while ignoring strength training, is an invitation for injury.  Core strength and hip strength are vitally important to keep the purist runner running.

Check out the Release Physical Therapy, Washington DC website for hip and low back exercises you can perform to prevent running injuries. We recommend clam shells, side lying hip abduction and bird dogs as a starting point.

Stay healthy and stay running, my friends!