Training, Technique & Skill Development Programs
Why Runners Suffer So Many Injuries…
To run easily, efficiently, lightly over the ground instead of plodding or trudging, the core has to be able to support both the weight and the movement of the body, while simultaneously providing for breathing to remain diaphragmatic. In addition, the core has to also be able to remain dynamic while the lower body takes stride after stride propelling the body forward. It may seem like a simple task, but to execute is anything but simple.
Why do runners land with a heel strike? Because they lack the core strength & endurance to maintain proper posture and running technique. As a result, runners consistently develop strain, sprain and overuse injuries. Since core strength & endurance is not identified as the prerequisite to running, runners fail to train properly before starting to run, and fall to narratives such as their running shoes, running terrain, or running pace being the root source of injury.
Running does not start with a pair of shoes, a road race, or miles and miles of running. Training starts in the gym by gaining the flexibility and the mobility in the ankles, hip joints and the spine so that movement is free, light, easy and efficient. Training then adds core strength and endurance exercises to develop power from where power must arise to remain injury free: the core. You do not run with your legs, you run from your core.
Before you start to run, you need to prep your joints, your ligaments, your tendons, your muscles… you need to prep your body to handle the loads associated with running. If not, then injuries are a virtual certainty. Changing from standing on two legs to standing on one leg results in weight bearing forces that are 3x as much. Changing to running results in load forces that are 6x as much as when standing on two legs. If your bones, your joints, your ligaments, your tendons, your muscles… if your body is not prepared to handle the repeated large loads that come with running, then aches, pains and injuries from running should be no surprise.
We spend so much time sitting these days (e.g. commuting, desk jockey, meetings after meetings, on the couch) that our body parts are simply not ready to start any sort of running training program. The proper starting point is Dryland Training to strengthen the core, perform posture and form training, to develop balance and coordination. Then, the progression is to running drills where basic run technique is trained. An aerobic (i.e. cardio-respiratory) base can be developed alongside so that when you do progress to running… its light, its free, its enjoyable, its ache and pain free, and most importantly injury free.
Achieving your potential as a runner either in running as a standalone sport or as a component of triathlons requires athletes to start right, and progress right. When athletes start right, then they do not encounter setbacks down the road. Progress may seem slow at first, but in the long term runners who start right and progress right don’t end up with nagging problems that physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists seem unable to solve (because the root is improper training, not a simple biomechanical issue that just needs to be taped, ‘racked & cracked’ to be ‘put back in place’, or rubbed down to be “fixed”).