Pain is a complex phenomenon and just because you have pain, doesn't mean you actually have any significant tissue damage. There are many factors involved that can cause an injury and create pain when running. Having said that, these are some of the most common contributing factors:
1. Doing too much too soon - when you abruptly increase your mileage and/or intensity, your body cannot keep up with the training stresses and it starts to breakdown. By reducing your mileage and/or intensity, you are giving your body a break and a chance to catch up and heal properly.
2. Running form - the way you run can have a significant impact on injury risk and pain. Your footstrike, arm/leg mechanics, pelvic stability, posture, all play a role in ensuring efficient and pain-free running. Some of the most common running form mistakes include heel striking/overstriding, crossing over, excessive knee valgus, slouched posture and pelvic drop.
3. Address muscle imbalances/weak points - your body works as a unit and if there is an imbalance or a weak spot somewhere in the body, it will cause problems. You might compensate by using other muscles more or that weak spot specifically might get injured and prevent you from running.
4. Increase muscle and connective tissue strength - having a stronger and more resilient body means reduced risk of injuries and better running performance. Running and especially fast running, cause significant impact forces. Having a strong body ensures you can handle these stresses and adapt to training positively.
5. Switch up terrain - running is a repetitive sport, so by regularly varying the surface and terrain you run reduces the risk of overuse injuries like runners knee, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and IT band problems.
6. Recovery - sleeping well, eating well and managing stress adequately, will ensure you are giving your body what it needs to heal properly and perform at its best.
Do you have any questions regarding running? Leave a comment or send us a direct message. If you need more personalized help, we offer in-person and online fitness training for runners.
NEM - NEMANJA SAMBAHER
Nem is the owner and head coach at TO Kinesiology. He is a certified Personal Trainer and Registered Kinesiologist with a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology. Nem is a published author with a strong science background with some of his papers appearing in journals like Neuroscience, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. He's also been featured for online publications like Stack.com, Running Room, Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, etc. You can read more about Nem here.
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