In any given year, 60-85% of runners are suffering at least one injury. As running is such a therapeutic outlet (physically AND emotionally!), we want to do everything possible to stay healthy! Here are 4 ways to keep injuries at bay:
(1.) Increase your cadence: Cadence is a fancy word that basically means how many steps you take per minute. Research has shown that increasing cadence decreases forces on joints which can be the source of many injuries. The best way to work on this is to think of your feet coming off the ground faster like you were running over hot sand! If you wear a watch that tracks your cadence, aim for above 180 strides per minute (though there isn’t any “magical” number).
2.) Focus on your feet landing under your body (rather than in front of you): When your foot lands in front of your body, you are essentially “putting on the brakes”, which both slows you down AND puts a heck of a lot of force through joints from your foot to pelvic floor to back. Aim for having your foot land under you.
3.) Slightly lean forward: Act as though you are running up a hill, leaning slightly forward from your ankles like a ski jumper. This naturally helps your feet land under your body and keeps all momentum moving FORWARD
4.) Be smart about your running: What is just as big a culprit as poor mechanics is ramping up your training too quickly. If you are just getting into running, start with walk-run intervals. If you want to complete a longer distance, consider a training plan (like those offered with She.Is.Beautiful Mileage Club memberships. We also love utilizing PWR Lab to have a visual representation of when we are training too much or too little.