Did you know that about half of recreational runners experience injuries? Most of those injuries are preventable. At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, our experienced team of providers has special expertise in preventing and treating sports injuries affecting the feet.
Today, we’re discussing the causes of common running injuries and how to prevent them as you increase your miles this fall.
Causes of common runners’ injuries
Achilles tendon injuries, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and other common running sports injuries are often related to overuse.
One of the most common causes of overuse running injuries is increasing mileage too quickly, although other factors like improper form and worn-out shoes also contribute.
We know that upping your mileage is especially tempting at this time of the year, and that’s a great goal, but you must safely increase your mileage.
Safe ways to increase your mileage and prevent runners’ injuries
We’re here to support you so you can reach your mileage goals without injuries and long periods of downtime. Some of our main recommendations include:
Support your feet
Your feet absorb up to seven times your body weight when running. With so much weight hitting your heels, arch, and the balls of your feet with each pace, it’s not shocking that runners experience so many sports injuries.
Wearing the right shoes can help pad your feet and support your arch, which may reduce your risk of injury. Consider buying shoes made specifically for running. Don’t forget to note how many miles they’re “good” for so you can track your mileage and replace them at the right time.
Many runners also benefit from orthotics. These custom-made shoe inserts slide into your running shoes. They can help keep your feet aligned properly and ensure good weight distribution while running. Controlled trials indicate that orthotics improve comfort level, increase running speed, and decrease running-related injuries.
Gradual mileage increase
Because sudden mileage increases cause so many sports injuries, a more measured approach is the best way to prevent injuries like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. We recommend increasing your mileage gradually.
A good rule of thumb is to increase mileage by 10-15% of your total goal mileage weekly. For example, a weekly goal of 50 miles means increasing your mileage by 5-7.5 miles a week on your way toward that goal.
Stretching before running
Stretching can help loosen your muscles and tendons, improve your balance, lessen stress on the muscles, and strengthen your muscles. As you build up your mileage, these precautions make you a more efficient and safer runner.
We may also recommend other specific tips for increasing your mileage safely this fall. Our team is happy to create a customized plan based on your history, goals, and needs.
At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, we understand the needs of athletes, from injury prevention to recovery and reaching new goals, and we’re here to support you. Reach out to the Wheat Ridge, Thornton, Evergreen, or Granby, Colorado, office or contact us online anytime.