The three most common running injuries

Injuries… we don’t like treating them, we don’t like competing with them, rehabilitating them is annoying, so why don’t you try preventing them? Today The Stride gives you some prevention exercises and advice to help keep the three most common running injuries at bay. This is so you can continue to run faster, longer, pain free and be energy efficient.

Three common injuries runners experience are shin splints, tendinopathy (achilles, hip) and hamstring complaints.

Shinsplints: Also known or referred to as medial tibial stress syndrome, whereby a person or runner experiences pain along the shin bone from the knee to ankle. Shin splint type pain is often multi faceted whereby numerous factors need to be addressed. Common physical traits leading to shin splint include poor technique, flat feet or excessive pronation, firm surfaces and sudden spikes in training volume.

Exercise: Heel raise – for adequate calf region strength


Shinsplint Prevention tips:

  1. Achieve and maintain adequate ankle range of motion through dorsi flexion
  2. Alter your training intensities
  3. Ensure you gradually increase your training volume and avoid sudden spikes in volume

Pain in a particular muscle however, more specifically the musculotendinous junction or tendon itself. The pain is usually very isolated, can be painful to touch, can get better with movement, and usually described as a dull like pain that can get better with movement or activity. Tendon injuries can be rather complex, with the “tendon continuum model” best illustrating the way in which tendon pathology can occur in regards to loads and training volumes. 

Exercise: Static load on tendons


Tendinopathy Prevention Tip:

  1. Ensure adequate joint ranges are always maintained
  2. Ensure adequate strength and control of the region is achieved prior to commencing a running program
  3. Static loading can be prescribed similar to your pain medication in regards to dose
  4. Monitor training volumes, technique and perceived difficulty of sessions to ensure optimal loads are being placed on tendons
  5. Reactive tendons don’t respond well when static stretching loads are placed on them

Hamstring Strain:
A strain to the muscle group located in the posterior thigh. These strains can occur in all regions of the muscle, with certain speeds of running associated with injuries in particular regions. A debilitating injury that can cause a runner to miss anywhere between 4 – 12 weeks depending on the tissues that are compromised at the time of injury.  

Exercise: Nordic Eccentric Lowering


Hamstring prevention tip:

1. Hamstring muscle strains can occur because of many factors
2. Ensure that you maintain correct pelvic positioning when running. This is so the hamstring muscle group is not being used as the primary hip extensor as well as performing its usual eccentric role for knee control during in high speed running.
3. Know that Nordic lowering can produce great amounts of muscle fatigue that at times can be uncomfortable
4. Perform nordic like exercise in off season when running intensity and speed is low, and allow for adequate recovery between sessions


Stride on!

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