Consistent, healthy running should be a top goal for every single runner. Why? It's the fastest way to improve your race times.
If you make injury prevention a priority, you won't have to take unscheduled time off, so you can run more. Plus, when you're consistent, running will be easier and you'll have a lot more fun doing it. Have you ever felt frustrated because you're wasting time being injured, and all you want to do is go for a run? I feel your pain.
Imagine what it would feel like to run when you want, and whatever distance you choose. Without injury setbacks, you can run the races you're most looking forward to, pain free.
But most injury prevention strategies take more time out of your busy day. Not all of us are elite runners who can spend three hours taking naps and ice baths.
But there are ways of staying healthy that don't require any extra time. You can use the same amount of time you have now and dramatically cut your injury risk so you can do more of what you love: running!
Step 1: Improve Your Running Form
The next time you go out for a run, check your cadence (the number of steps you take per minute). Simply count how many times your left foot strikes the ground in 60 seconds, and then double it for both feet.
Ideally your cadence should be over 170 steps per minute, so if it's lower, you should increase it by about five percent. You might have heard that a cadence of 180 is preferred, but there is no magic number. By taking more than 170 steps per minute, you put less stress on your legs with each stride. Without the extra stress, you can become more efficient and economical.
This simple change takes care of many other form mistakes like over-striding and aggressive heel striking.