Problem Solving: Running Injuries
I was recently on a phone call with a potential running client who told me that the number one thing he felt like he needed help with was correcting his running form. When I asked him what issues or outcomes led him to believe his form was bad, he responded that a few years ago he had a calf injury he believed was caused by poor running form. “I was running 100+ mile weeks in preparation for an ultra distance event when it happened. Of course I did what you aren’t supposed to do and ran through it. I started compensating to avoid the pain and now the injury has never healed.” So he feel like if he corrects his form, he will avoid these types of injuries and setbacks in his training.
The reality is that while there are definitely some obvious things that may need correcting, 95% of injuries don’t stem from poor running form. They stem from poorly planned overall training load and poor nutrition. In this specific client’s case, he had gone from an inconsistent running schedule to too many miles per week at too high intensity too soon. He was overstressing his body and not allowing for enough recovery between hard efforts. He was constantly fatigued which can cause laziness in usual form. So instead of adjusting his training load, he blamed poor running form and continued to train the same way. So while form may be a factor, first consider what your overall daily/weekly/monthly training looks like to decide if something needs to change there. Rest can work wonders even though it’s one of the hardest things to do when you have goals.