In an ideal runner’s world, every step would be pain-free; no aches, no twinges and no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session. But in the real world, we constantly deal with slight (or not-so-slight) niggles.
There are ‘red light’ full-blown injuries that require time off, and there’s the ‘green light’ with only transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next. Unfortunately, many of us get stuck in the middle, ploughing through those not-quite-injured-but-not-quite-healthy amber lights.
Whether you hit red, linger on amber or get the green depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain.
“Often it comes down to whether you take a little time off now, or a lot of time off later,” says sports injury specialist Dr Richard Price.
You can cut your risk of amber turning to red by dropping mileage, reducing intensity or starting treatment. You can dodge red lights altogether with a proactive long-term injury prevention strategy, including strength training, stretching and regular foam rolling.
“Physical therapy is like homework,” says Price. “None of us like having to do it, but if you don’t, the issue will recur.”
Price and a team of top sports injury experts have isolated the seven running injury hotspots that are the most frequently affected. Learning to read the signs and take the right action for rehab and prevention will keep your running in the green light.
Follow the links below to read about how to avoid, and beat, the seven most common body breakdowns.
Top tips for avoiding one of the most common runner injuries
Make sure your hammies are never too tight or weak to perform
Tendinitis accounts for 11 per cent of all running injuries
Rest, ice and tape your shins to relieve pain caused by medial tibial syndrome
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Side steps, side leg lifts and single-leg squats will help you recover from this injury
Prevent injury to your feet, where 15 per cent of running complaints strike
Introducing aqua running to your training could help you avoid this serious running injury