How do you prevent running induced injuries?

03 August 2020
Injuries are prevalent among runners. It is something they're good at. Running poses a grave risk due to its one-sidedness and the absorbing of the blows of running (you have to absorb up to 3 times your body weight). Many runners build up too fast and do not do so sensibly. Others implement an incorrect running technique or have a very weak core.
How do you prevent running induced injuries? - photo 1.1

Build up your foundation slowly
Prevent injuries by building up your running training very calmly. Don't run 5 km right away in one go if you've never done this before. Even if your conditioning is very good and you play hockey, soccer or cycle 3 times a week, the load your body endures during running is much higher and makes your body more prone to injury. So start slow and gradually extend your distance and time. 

Running technique
Work on your running technique. If you observe top runners, they maintain short ground contact, midfoot landing and run upright. Follow classes if you really want to run more effectively. Everyone who take lessons think they can run right away without supervision. 

Core stability
Work on your core stability! It is important that you have a strong core as you have to absorb up to 3 times your body weight when landing while running. Especially your belly, back and glute muscles are very important here. Focus especially on your glutes as these act as your engines during running. They absorb the impact very well but also ensure that you can run more powerfully. 

How do you develop a better running technique?

Developing a better running technique over night is not possible. You'll have to immerse yourself in it. Foot placement is very important and landing on your heels is not ideal. Doing so makes you extremely prone to injury, makes you bad at catching the blows and slows you down. So if someone tells you that you must unwrap your foot while running, you should tell him or her straight away that he or she should take running lessons. 😊 Try to focus on landing on your midfoot. Landing on your midfoot ensures that you maintain much better tension in your whole body so that you can absorb the impact of the landing much better. This, in combination with a high step frequency and a short step length, ensures that you place your feet under your body's centre of gravity. By leaning forward a little bit, you automatically fall into your stride and propel yourself forward as well.

This way you run lighter, prevent injuries and really make running much more fun! If you join an athletics or running club, you can also follow running training. You can acquire all kinds of exercises that help to improve your running technique.

These running tips & tricks are from top athlete and top coach Gert-Jan Wassink. Gert-Jan possesses years of experience as a top athlete with multiple medals for Dutch Championships and is a 7-time participant in European Championships. In addition, he coaches numerous upcoming athletes, recreational runners and top athletes. Gert-Jan's motto is: train smart and sensible and make every workout count.

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