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Running Into Summer

Like many people, I moved to San Diego because of the beautiful sunny weather. In California, I have access to the outdoors on a year round basis. One of my favorite things to do, particularly during the long days of summer, is run before work. Running can be a great workout, but like any activity, there are injuries associated with it.

What are factors associated with running injuries?

According to an article in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, the most common beliefs about why recreational runners get injured include “excess training,” “not stretching,” “not warming up,” “wearing the wrong shoes,” and “lack of strength.”1 Some of these beliefs definitely have warrant, particularly the idea of improper or excess training.

Improper training can include excessive increase in running, sudden increase in distance, and rapid increase in speed or intensity of running. Research suggests that up to 1/3 of runners who become injured do so after a recent change in running routines potentially due the inability of their tissues to adapt and repair themselves because of the new demands.2

The suggested increase in mileage/training volume is 10% each week. Increase in mileage changes of greater than 30% have been shown to be correlated with iliotibial band syndrome, patellofemoral pain, medial tibial stress syndrome, and greater trochanteric bursitis.3 Pace related (ie running too fast for training) injuries may also occur and commonly include Achilles tendinopathy, plantarfascitis, hamstring injuries, and iliopsoas injuries.3

What does 10% per week mean for me?

Wherever you are at in your training, count the number of miles you run/walk in a week. If you are just starting this may mean <1 mile. For those people, we recommend you start a walking program first in order to increase your mileage. For people who are recreationally running say 10 miles a week, only increase your mileage the next week by 10%. This means you will increase your miles to 11 the next week, adding only 1 mile on to one of your runs. This may sound like a slow process, but it will set you up for success in the long run.

There are many walking/running progression programs out there to choose from. If you are interested in starting a new walking or running program due to a recent injury or in an effort to improve cardiovascular fitness, come in to Mizuta & Associates for a physical therapy evaluation to address your deficits.

Did you know?

Four of the Mizuta PT team have run or are training for half marathons this year. Ericka (the owner of all those medals on the wall) has ran 2 half marathons this year and is training for the America’s Finest City Half at the end of August. Jill is also actively training for America’s Finest City Half. Laura recently ran the Wildhorse Trail Half Marathon in June and Albert is training for the Silver Strand Half Marathon in November.

1. Saragiotto BT, Yamato TP, Lopes AD. What Do Recreational Runners Think About Risk Factors for Running Injuries? A Descriptive Study of Their Beliefs and Opinions. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2014, 44 (10): 733-738 doi:10.2519/jospt.2014.5710 2. Jacobs SJ, Berson BL. Injuries to runners: a study of entrants to a 10,000 meter race. Am J Sports Med. 1986;14:151–155. 3. Nielsen RO et al. Excessive Progression in Weekly Running Distance and Risk of Running-Related Injuries: An Association Which Varies According to Type of Injury. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2014, 44 (10): 739-747 doi:10.2519/jospt.2014.5164

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