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Archives for the day Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Lower leg injuries for runners

Now that people are starting to run for the upcoming season, I have been hearing a lot of complaints about lower leg injuries.  For people on, it is easy to see them racking up the miles, fast.  A few questions from the other runners always leads to the same conclusion: we like to injure ourselves from over doing it.  We increase the mileage before our bodies are ready for the additional stress.

Social media makes the problem worse because we see all of these people doing things we want to do.  We do not think about how long it took them to get their elevated status.  We think we can work hard and get there too.  Most of the overuse injuries are on older (over age 30) runners too.  Here is a list of injuries that come to mind.  Keep in mind that I have suffered from all of these injuries because I tend to over train a lot.

Plantar Fasciitis – Pain along the bottom of the foot generally in the heal area.  I had Metatarsalgia which is on the pad of the foot near the toes.  This website has a lot of good stretches and exercises to help this pain.  I have not tried their inserts, perhaps I should.  I swear by inserts.  All of my shoes have inserts, even my cycle shoes.

Calf pain – Another injury us older runners get when we try to go out too fast.  We need to take it easy, stretch and do strength training to get our legs up to speed.  Sports injury clinic

ITB – The dreaded Iliotibial Band Syndrome.  This is a terrible injury.  It is usually caused by over training and catches up to you during or after a long run of like 18 or 20 miles.  There is nothing worse than working up to 20 miles then getting injured.   Time to run injury page

Knee pain – front and back, most likely from tendonitis.  This is one of the best injuries because it is rarely chronic and heals relatively easily from applying ice and rest.  Medical site

  • All of these injuries are generally caused by overuse and can be avoided by taking your time when increasing your speed or distance.  When you get an injury, it is always practical to follow the good old R.I.C.E. Method.  Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate.
  • Rest is probably the hardest things for us athletes.  We just want to get out and go.  If you rest as soon as you feel the pain, your healing time will be greatly reduced.
  • Ice is easy.  Strap on an ice pack for 15 minutes every couple of hours and you are good to go.  The ice reduces swelling and increases circulation.  Be careful to make sure gel packs do not touch the skin.  You can get a nasty ice burn from a gel pack.  It will take off a few layers of skin so be careful.  I have a shelf full of various gel packs in my freezer and use dollar store support braces to protect my skin and hold the gel packs in place.  Old T-shirts also work to protect your skin.
  • Compress – You can wrap your leg in an ace bandage or use the dollar store braces for compression.
  • Elevate – If you are like me, you won’t sit still long enough to elevate.  Do your best.

After your injury heals, take it easy with your training, build your strength, stretch and warm up before you work out.

I get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I forget about the people who are just starting out.  I am not a professional athlete or trainer.  I do excel at trying hard and getting injured from over doing it.  I usually fix the injury and move on to find a new body part to injure.  I always manage to have fun and find alternate routines to keep me training while

The most common cause of injury for beginners is from doing too much, too soon.  People following my training plan or any other training plan usually try to go faster every day.  Fitness and endurance are long-term goals.  You have to stay within your abilities.  It is easy to look at someone who has been exercising for a long time and think running is easy.

Running is easy; it just takes time and practice to run for extended durations.

I posted links to sites from professionals.  Look at their sites and look around for more information.  As they say, knowledge is power.  The more you know, the better you can treat yourself.