Last night I attended a symposium for runners called "New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries". It was a 2 hour talk held by Nova Physiotherapy and presented by The Running Clinic.
These folks are the most up-to-date in running research. I mean...if a study came out yesterday...they have already analyzed it...they are that up-to-date.
There was SOOOO much information presented that I can't possibly tell you everything but I am going to give you the last 10 pieces of advice that they gave us:
* Surround yourself with the right people. This means medical staff, shoe fit professionals, etc.
* Keep it Simple and go back to nature. The talk was a huge proponent of minimalist running and advantages that it gives to building our foot structure back up and preventing injuries.
* The Body will Adapt but be gradual. There was a great graph that showed where the body needs to be when training to adapt to new circumstances and what happens when you reach the red zone (which I am guilty of doing). Our bodies will adapt to new circumstances but we need to give it time.
* CADENCE! Higher cadence has been proven to lower running injuries. Athletes usually have a cadence of between 170-190 steps per minute. A cadence of 180 = 3 steps per second.
* Natural Surface Variety. Don't run in a straight line all the time and vary the surfaces you run on to prevent running injuries.
* Warm Up. Gradual and Specific. If you are doing speed work, do running specific warm ups...the A, B, C, D's. It is important to slowly increase your body temperature before you set off on your normal routine.
* Stretching (this one got me). You should stretch if you are stiff and you should stretch AFTER your workout. You should NOT stretch if you are highly flexible. You should NOT stretch before your workout and you should NOT stretch your calf muscles. There is no scientific research that says that stretching will help prevent running injuries.
* Strengthen and use barefoot running techniques for injury prevention.
* Nutrition and Psychology. Ensure you get quality, variety, and balance to your training.
There is so much information that they provide on their website for runners. Check them out for the latest research and tips and tools.