Commonwealth Orthopaedics: Preventing Running Injuries

02.01.2013 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

Still holding up that New Years Resolution to run more? Or maybe you're training to run a race this Spring? Commonwealth Orthopaedics, the official orthopaedic and physical therapy partner of the Washington Redskins, has some tips on preventing running injuries.

Whether it is a 10K race, half marathon or marathon, the key to avoiding injury when training for a race is preparation.

Stress injuries and stress fractures are some of the most common injuries that are seen when training for a long-distance race; these are typically caused by improper preparation.

If you are a new runner, the recommendation is to start running 2 miles 2-3 times per week and increasing your weekly mileage 10 percent per week. It is important to remember that it is all about total miles per week for both walking and running.

Walking at your job, in your neighborhood, during shopping trips, camping and hiking all count toward your weekly mileage. Keeping track of your weekly running/walking mileage is critical to avoid an overuse injury.

Exercise that does not count toward mileage includes: swimming, biking, elliptical trainer, rollerblading, skiing and rowing machine.

The Myth of No Pain-No Gain

As a group, runners tend to want to run no matter what. Pain is a very accurate indicator of how things are going. I tell runners they are allowed to have a little bit of discomfort with a long run, but not too much. If you start to feel pain, you need to back off from running. Following the “no pain, no gain” mantra is a recipe for trouble. For example, if a runner starts feeling pain in his shin, he really should take a couple of days off until he feels better. When the pain is gone, he can then proceed with his training regimen. However, if the pain persists after a week or more, that runner needs to be seen by a physician.

Shoe Wear

Shoe wear is also very important. Shoes have a lifespan of 300 to 400 miles before they are worn out. I tell runners to write the purchase date on their shoes so they can keep track of shoe mileage. It is also important to understand that running shoes are made for running, they are not made for walking, working out, or doing anything else. Saving running shoes for running makes it easy to determine how many miles the shoes have. If you wear the shoes while participating in other activities, it makes it difficult to determine the shoes’ mileage.

For more information on preventing running injuries, go to:

By Ben Kittredge, MD; Commonwealth Orthopaedics


Commonwealth Orthopaedics has teamed up with the Redskins as a new health and wellness partner.  Click here for more information.

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