Approximately 50% of running-related injuries occur at the knee, many of which can be attributed to the inability of this joint to control the loads applied when the foot first hits the ground. Theoretically, if these loads on the knee can be reduced, injury rates can also be reduced. Step length is directly related to the amount of force transmitted through the ankle, knee, and hip. A long stride length puts the foot way out in front of the body, where it acts as a brake every time it hits the ground.
“My highest mileage week is 90 miles! I start with a 30, then, like three 45, then 50, then 60…” Who do you picture when I say this? A collegiate cross-country runner? A pro?
Weight training affects more than just muscles; it can also strengthen your bones! As we age, bones begin to lose mineral density (Bone Mineral Density - BMD), and they becoming slightly weaker as a result; this is particularly evident in postmenopausal women. This condition is commonly known as osteoporosis. This decrease in BMD can be of concern, as weaker bones are at an increased risk of bone fracture. Longitudinal studies have shown that appropriatelyprescribed progressive resistance training can stimulate bone growth and increasing BMD in older adults, reducing risk of fracture.
If you asked most runners what day they would skip in their training plan, I can guarantee most of them will answer “strength.” We often see runners whose training plans don't even have a strength day included! While running is extremely demanding on our legs, it involves primarily linear movement, or movement in a forward direction only. Runners typically have weaker glutes, hips, and hamstrings compared to the quads, which can result in numerous lower body injuries
To be at peak performance and minimal injury risk, strength training should be an integral part of all running programs. For your strength training to be effective, you should should be specific and deliberate when choosing your exercises.
Hypermobility vs Flexibility? Is Mobility a Bad Thing?
What is hypermobility?
When talking about fitness, many people use flexibility and mobility interchangeably, but the two concepts are actually very different! Mobility refers to the range of motion in a joint. Mobility is influenced by both the joint structures (where one bone meets another) and the soft tissue that surrounds that joint. Flexibility refers only to the soft tissue itself.
The relationship between running injuries and the amount of vertical force (up and down movement and impact) during running has been well-documented through many recent studies. “Vertical ground reaction force” (VGRF) is the force that the ground exerts up through a runner’s leg when landing. The rate at which these forces are applied to the body is called “vertical impact loading rate” (VILR). So if the vertical ground reaction forces are applied too quickly and not absorbed well, injury risk can be increased significantly.
We all have heard the recommendation to change shoes around 300-500 miles of use, but why? Where does this recommendation come from? When running, forces more than 2.5 times your body weight are applied up the leg and through the musculoskeletal system. Footwear has been designed to assist in absorbing these highmagnitude forces in order to improve performance and reduce injury risk. The cushioning in shoes can absorb shock and reduce how fast the force of landing acts on the body.
Hip injuries and pain are relatively common in runners; high hamstring strains, hip flexor strains, labral tears, piriformis syndrome, FAI... the list goes on. Most hip injuries are musculoskeletal (either bone/joint, ligament, or muscle), which can cause us to unintentionally neglect a particular group of hip injuries: nerve entrapments.
Are you having trouble recovering from an ankle sprain? Jennings and Davies (2005) produced a report that shows that one little bone in the foot might be responsible for your lasting issues. The cuboid bone sits between your heel bone and the beginning of your 5th toe on the outside of your foot.
The back and the hips have always had a complicated relationship, especially for runners in NYC. We sit all day, making our hamstrings stiff and angry. Because the hamstrings are so tight, when you run the pelvis rotates forward to help increase your hip extension, which makes your hip flexors tighter, which rotates your pelvis more...
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a widely-accepted as a measure for recovery after workouts. As runners are always looking to work harder (read: get faster) and avoid injury, research continues to expand. When considering how to improve performance, training sessions are almost always the first thought. HRV came into play once we started considering how well athletes were recovering after their workouts.