Run Happy This Summer
Updated: Jun 18, 2019
Summer is here, and for many Portlanders this means one thing: running season. Whether it’s your first time running Hood to Coast, or your 10th Portland Marathon, longer days and nicer weather inspire many of us to get out on the road and ramp up our training.
Many runners have likely maintained a good base mileage throughout the winter and spring, and are following a well-planned training program for their event. However, others out there may have signed up for an event 3 months away and have a lot of training to do in a short period of time. Unfortunately, this scenario can place runners at an increased risk developing an overuse injury. If you’re in this category, here are some tips to prevent derailing your training with an injury:
Consider running every other day. If you’re used to running on back-to-back days, you can compare how your body responds. Running on consecutive days may not give your body enough time to recover before you head out on your next run. Typically 48 hours is enough time for your muscles, tendons, and bones to recover from a run and further decrease your risk for an overuse injury.
Beware of the “danger” pace. Think: running too fast. One of the most common training errors runners make is running hard - race pace or even faster - every time they run. For experienced and elite runners, the majority of their weekly training runs are at an easy, conversational pace.
Be strong enough to run. Muscular weakness is a risk factor for many overuse injuries. For example, calf muscle weakness is a risk factor for developing achilles tendon pain. Maintaining a regular core and leg strengthening program, even just 2 days per week, will help to decrease your injury risk and optimize your performance.
Incorporate cross training and restorative days. What you do to recover from a training run is just as important as the run itself. Cross-training (hiking, cycling, swimming, yoga, strength training, etc.) on the days that you complete an easy recovery run, or don’t run at all, keeps your body active while allowing it to recover from the demands of your running volume.
If you need further guidance regarding your running training, or experience an injury along the way, contact Jon Eng, PT, DPT, or Ryan Abbott, PT, DPT, at Village Physical Therapy.
1. O’Neill, S. et al. A delphi study of risk factors for achilles tendinopathy - opinions of world tendon experts. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016. 11(5).
2. Blagrove, R. et al. Effects of strength training on the physiological determinants of middle- and long-distance running performance: a systematic review. Sports Medicine. 2018. 48(5).