It was recently reported that 79% of runners suffer some sort of injury every year. Is there a better way of running that can reduce running injuries? Hence the question, is there a right and a wrong way to run?
There are different reasons why runners suffer injuries and they affect various parts of the body. Most of these injuries are avoidable and if the runner just takes a bit of time and thinks how they are moving their bodies, unnecessary pain can be avoided.
A lot of interesting work at the moment is going into the study of barefoot running. They claim that they don’t get injured by running without trainers but opinion is divided on whether this is true.
This research though has examined the way people run and it has come to some interesting conclusions.
Christopher MacDougall in the New York Times came across a nineteenth century running technique called the 100-up that stresses no heel landings and running on the balls of your feet.
You should run as if you were jumping over a log, land on the forefoot and bring the ankle down lightly.
Using this method he claimed he improved his running performance and remained injury free.
Running correctly does help to avoid injury. Many runners use foot orthotics to help them plant their feet correctly on the ground when they run.
Conditions like plantar fasciitis can be helped by using orthotics but by making sure that you are bringing your feet down correctly can help to ease these problems.
When you watch joggers it’s easy to see why they suffer from knee pain and muscle injuries as they are not running in a way that helps their bodies.
The way you position your body is key. Like all sports you should make sure your head is still and relaxed while you are running.
As they are coming near to the end of their run you see tired joggers with their head tilted back and their shoulders slumped. This obviously affects the posture of their whole body and will lead to injuries.
You should imagine a plumb line from the top of your head to your feet. The key is to run tall and erect while you swing your knees beyond their natural elevation.
So often you see runners just shuffling along as if they don’t want to be out there (perhaps they don’t) but by running this way they are putting their joints and muscles under increased stress and are more likely to get injured.
Whether you land on your ankle or the ball of the foot make sure you don’t turn your feet out. It seems obvious but make sure you run straight.
The main thing is to enjoy your running. If you have looked after yourself properly a good run can energise your body and mind making you feel better.
Obviously running improves your fitness, helps your body, reduces stress and is good for you.
Just make sure you do it properly.