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Running Injuries and Training tips for new Runners


Do you want to start running?

The simplicity of running has a lot of appeal, especially as a way to enjoy the great outdoors in these warmer months. Before you tie up your laces, there are a few things to know to ensure that running becomes an enjoyable and sustainable activity for you.


Why run?

The saying goes, the best runners are the ones who don’t get injured. While this may indicate that this is a high risk sport, I would argue that a sedentary lifestyle is more risky for your long term health. The cardiovascular benefits of running are well documented, but concern over joint impact can be a deterrent for some. While it is true that running places a load 4-5x your body weight on your knees,1 overtime this can strengthen the joints themselves. Did you know that runners2, including marathon runners3 have thicker hip and knee cartilage on average? So too, runners seem to have thicker intervertebral discs than other people of the same age. To increase strength, we need to progressively load the body4.

Running injuries

The most common running injuries occur most commonly at the site of the knee including patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee), strain to the hamstrings, quadriceps, or ITB, meniscal injuries, tibial stress syndrome and patellar tendinopathy. The ankle and foot are next with injuries such as ATFL sprains and plantar fasciitis. The lower limb next with calf and Achilles strains or tibial stress syndrome. Injury to the hip and pelvis is also possible5. However it is important to note that overuse injuries are more common than acute injuries such as muscle strains or ligament sprains. Further, overuse injuries often result from training errors that can be easily avoided by the strategies outlined below.

Top training tips for new runners:

– If you are worried about any musculoskeletal or health problems, please consult us prior to commencing running;

– Ensure your shoes are not worn out and are adequately supportive;

– Perform dynamic stretches such as hip swings directly before a run;

– Begin with intervals of walking/jogging/running while your body get accustomed to the movement;

– Start slowly at a pace where you can have a conversation;

Mix up the terrain to load your tissues differently;

– Increase your training slowly! Training frequency, duration and intensity is arguably the most important determinate of running injury. In general, it is better to undertrain at first, allowing for plenty of recovery time, especially if the body is feeling sore, tired or overly tight in areas.

– Never increase you running mileage more than 10% per week (this may vary depending on the individual’s prior history);

– Stop and walk if you feel any pain!!! Pain is a sign that the body is not adapting to the exercise load5.

– Ensure you do at least 2-3 days of stability training to condition the supportive structures of the body including exercises such as: gluteal bridges, clam shells, band walks, squats, lunges, step ups, calf raises, chest openers and upper back strengthening;

– Cool down after a run with at least 5 minutes of walking, followed by foam rolling or static stretches of the muscles of the lower limb.

How your osteopath can help

To help with your running injury rehabilitation and prevention, please visit the clinic!


Version 2

This post was written by Dr Jess Davies.

You can find out more about Jess here or book an appointment with her here.

Alternatively, you can call the clinic on 9908 2844.


1. Carnes, M., Vizniak, N. A. (2012). Quick reference evidence-based conditions manual (3rd). Canada, Professional Health Systems Inc.
2. Alentorn-Geli, E., Samuelsson, K., Musahl, V., Green, GL., Bhandari, M., Karlsson, J. (2017) The Association of Recreational and Competitive Running With Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. Jun47 (6): 373-390. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.7137. Epub 2017 May 13.
3. Ponzio, DY., Syed, UAM., Purcell, K., Cooper, AM., Maltenfort, M., Shaner, J., Chen, AF. (2018) Low Prevalence of Hip and Knee Arthritis in Active Marathon Runners. J Bone Joint Surg Am. Jan 17 100 (2): 131-137. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.16.01071.
4. Belavý1, DL., Quittner ,MJ., Ridgers, N., Ling, Y., Connell, D., Rantalainen, T. (2017) Running exercise strengthens the intervertebral disc. Scientific Reports. 7:45975. doi: 10.1038/srep45975
5. Sports Medicine Australia Fact Sheet:

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