Statistically , around 75% of runners will be injured at least once a year. Many people assume this is just part of being a runner, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Learning to run with better form can help reduce the risk of injury significantly.
Once of the most common types of running injury is simply overuse. Going out and running 6 times a week is going to lead to all sorts of problems. If you are just starting out as a runner, you need to avoid doing Too Much Too Soon. Many injuries can be dodged by keeping the volume and intensity low and build up gradually. 3 times a week is plenty.
Stay Off Your Heels
If you over stride, you are more likely to land heel first with your leg straight, which sends a huge impact spike up through your ankles, knees and hips. The only reason you don’t notice this is because you have a layer of foam under your heel which masks (but doesn’t stop) the spike.
Keep your stride short, with your feet landing underneath rather than in front of you. Try to keep your knees bent and land on the balls of your feet. Studies have shown that this significantly reduces impact forces.
Mix It Up
Plodding along at the same pace every time you run will usually result in either boredom or a plateau (or both). If you want to improve as a runner you need to vary your training a bit.
My favourite method is Fartlek (no laughing!). Fartlek is Swedish for ‘speed play’ and basically involves speeding up or slowing down whenever you feel like it. You could say “I’m going to sprint to the next lamp post” or I’ll speed up until the end of this song, then walk for a bit”
Now I’m not saying that these things will magically result in you running injury free for the rest of your life, but they will go a long way towards helping you avoid the most common runners complaints.