it’s not just about the runs

“For me, the hardest part of an injury is watching the races go by that I had hoped to compete in. The only thing that makes it easier is thinking of how certain struggles make other accomplishments mean so much.”
Dathan Ritzenhein

I was reading a book written by my RRCA coach, Janet Hamilton, and came across this tidbit of info: “if the average running stride length is 3.5 feet, that amounts to 1508 steps per mile. now multiply your body weight times 2.5- that’s roughly the amount of impact force being absorbed at each foot strike. so, for a 150 lb person, that totals 565,500 pounds of impact force per mile. now multiply that by a marathoners training schedule of 40 miles per week, you come up with 22,620,000 pounds of impact force per week.”

Wow! Those are crazy numbers. Janet goes on to say that 92% of injured runners seen in PT were found to have inadequate flexibility in one or more muscle groups. “If you want to avoid injury one of the best investments you can make is time spent stretching and strengthening your muscles,” she says. This makes perfect sense and i’m just as bad as the next person about doing my stretches. I know better so i need to do better.

Think about it, you’re running approximately 20,000 steps during a half marathon. It’s highly likely that every runner will have a running injury at some point in their lifetime. Is this because of the running? No, it’s because you have imbalances that caused weaknesses in other areas. The running impact is actually good for our bones but if we’re all out of balance, we’ll eventually have an injury. It may be a full fledged injury that takes you out for a while (ie- stress fracture, muscle tear) or something that causes some uncomfortable runs (ie- ITB syndrome, shin splints).

If something is uncomfortable, there is a reason and the reason is NOT running. The reason is probably weak hips, weak glutes, tight calves- usually something simple that can be fixed with some stretching and strength training. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you end up sidelined for months. Address issues now. Take cross training seriously- stretching and strength training.

Yoga, here i come (i’m already pretty good about biking and strength training but stretching is my downfall). I’m challenging myself to 3 yoga sessions (home or studio) per week for the next few weeks. Wanna join in on the challenge??

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