Category Archives: Injury Prevention

How to Prevent Ankle Sprains While Running

ankle sprainSprained ankles from running differ markedly from practically every other injury sustained while running.

Most running injuries are often classified as overuse injuries.  They result from your body not being strong enough to withstand a certain repetitive stress or action which often occurs thousands of times during a run.  In contrast, sprained ankles result from a single trauma.  Often, a runner who sprains their ankle has suffered a previous non-running ankle sprain (Bennett is prone to sprained ankles in part due to previous sprains suffered as hockey-playing teen).

Why does spraining an ankle once increase the likelihood of a future sprain? Depending upon the severity, an ankle sprain can damage muscles, ligaments and proprioceptors (PRO-pri-o-CEP-tors) – specialized nerves that control your balance and sense of position.  Proprioceptors are present in muscles and tendons.   Proprioceptors in a properly functioning ankle sense when your ankle is about to roll and instruct your tendons and muscles to fire and take corrective action, i.e. prevent rolling over.  When these nerves are damaged during the initial sprain, they often do not regain their full functionality.  Their ability to control the necessary firing of muscles and tendons is compromised.  It is this phenomenon that is the major contributor to chronic ankle sprains.

The Keys to Running Injury-Free

ButtPainPreventing injury is critical to consistently running your best; maximizing the physical, psychological and social benefits you derive from running.

Yet, studies show that on average, 63% of women runners get injured every year. That’s almost two-thirds that are forced to miss training due to injury!

What does science-based research conclude you must do to join the injury-free minority?

Dehydration Myths for Runners

WaterBottlesmConventional wisdom among runners is that dehydration is to be avoided at all costs.   After all, doesn’t dehydration cause overheating? Doesn’t dehydration often result in heat distress? Doesn’t dehydration severely impair performance? Aren’t runners who collapse near or at the end of a race severely dehydrated and should be treated with rapid hydration?

Most of the running community will answer these questions with a resounding “yes”.  This all seems very logical and commonsense……….but it is not true!

Should You Run Through Discomfort or Pain?

PainsmThis is a question Bennett frequently hears from coaching clients.  Discomfort, aches and pains during training can be expected.  When to run through and when to stop running? When is the ache or pain a red stop light?

Guidelines

During a workout, it’s OK to run through an occasional muscular twinge.  If the twinge persists, worsens or forces you to alter your gait, your body telling you “this way more stress and strain than I can handle”.  Cut your workout short and head home.  Ice the affected area several times daily for the first 48 hours.  See Icing – No Muss No Fuss for tips on icing.

Overtraining – One Train You Want to Miss

OvertrainingsmI was once asked to write a scientific article on overtraining. My response was that’s the simplest article ever.  It’s two words long: “Avoid it.”

Jack Daniels
Legendary running coach
Author of “Daniels’ Running Formula”

Sylvia Cashmore (Peterborough, Ontario) was training for the 2012 Boston Marathon.  She was running 6 days per week.  Being an avid triathlete (often placing first in her age group), Sylvia was also cross-training 2-3 times weekly.  Unfortunately, all of her hard work resulted overtraining and developing a severe nasty cold which jeopardized her training and racing plans.

One Run Away From Illness or Injury?

How to tell if you are courting illness or an injury that will derail your training and racing plans?

Like the canary in the mineshaft, a running log can provide an early warning sign of impending danger — illness, staleness or burnout – before the physical symptoms show. When you enter your workout details in your running log, rate your workout on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 is awful, 10 is Nirvana. If you have three consecutive runs with a rating of 4 or less…

Flying Is Hazardous to Your Training

Many of us know that runners are more susceptible to catching colds after racing and running longer distances. Research has shown running longer than 90 minutes increases the risk of developing an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI). How to Prevent Colds and Illnesses after Racing and Running Long.

What other common activity increases your risk of illness? It’s not going outside without a hat during winter (sorry, Mom).

It’s flying.

The Most Accurate Training Monitor is Free

Yes. It’s called the brain.

Australian researchers at Deakin University reviewed 56 studies comparing objectives measures of training load (e.g. heart rate, blood markers, oxygen consumption) versus subjective indicators of training load (perceived stress, mood).  Their results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that in over 90% of the studies reviewed, subjective measures were equal or more reliable indicators of training load than the objective scientific measures.

In other words, how you feel during and after a run is the most reliable indicator of how your body responds to your training.

How To Cure Painful Side Stitches

DiarrheasmallMany runners have experienced a beautiful run that was brought to a sudden painful end by a side stitch.  This sharp stabbing pain in the upper belly just underneath the rib cage, usually on the right side, begins without warning. With each step, the pain worsens, subsiding only when you stop running.

Until recently, the cause of what the scientific community call Exercise-Related Transient Abdominal Pain (i.e. the side stitch) was not clearly understood.  Some of the hypotheses to explain this annoying run-killer included not waiting long enough after food or liquid intake  before running, lack of oxygen to the diaphragm, spasms or cramps in abdominal muscles and the build up of abdominal gas.

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