3 Injury-Prevention Mistakes Runners Make

A common misconception is that you can treat injuries by stretching and resting. Do you think this as well?

Studies have shown that stretching provides no protection against injuries, and as a treatment method, it's virtually worthless in most cases. No wonder the annual injury rate among runners is a staggering 70 percent or more.

While rest is important for runners, it only gets you so far in terms of injury prevention. It's rarely the answer since it won't treat the underlying cause of your injury. If your glutes are weak and cause your form to break down, resulting in ITBS, then rest won't fix the problem.

A better strategy is to determine the root cause of your injury and focus your attention on fixing that problem.

More: 2 Exercises to Help Runners Beat IT Band Pain

Injury Prevention 101

While most runners rely on a single aspect of injury prevention and believe that will help them stay healthy, the best way to prevent injury is to combine several different strategies into one effective training program. Think of it like a good chicken noodle soup: the noodles are important, but so are the other ingredients like chicken, carrots, celery and broth.

More: How to Run Injury Free

A good training program combines strength exercises with different types of running. This means changing the pace, intensity, training volume and terrain in order to stress your body in different ways.

Runners often focus on finding the perfect workout or breaking a new mileage record. It's more beneficial, however, to stay consistent with a moderate workload over several months. Running is cumulative and all that work adds up over time. You may not need that intense interval session or challenging gym workout, you may just need to train for a longer period of time.

If you incorporate these elements into your training plan, I know you'll see dramatic results, both in your speed at your next race and your ability to stay healthy.

More A Runner's Guide to Injury Treatment and Prevention

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