The Top 3 Running Mistakes That Leave You Injured...
You probably don't even realize you're making some of these mistakes!
"In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes." ~Benjamin Franklin
I'm going to add a third certainty... running injuries.
If you're a runner - professional or amateur, short or long distance, male or female - you know what I'm talking about. When you run, you know its not a matter of "if" but of "when," you will end up with an injury (usually due to repetitive stress.) And you're always crossing your fingers that it won't be right before that big race you've been training for.
While I do think injuries are sometimes inevitable, there is quite a bit that you can do to prevent them. Not only that, but usually bad habits in the form of running mechanics cause numerous injuries that may have been avoided altogether.
Quick note: You already understand that... ~stretching is important. ~strength training will help your body stay balanced. ~adding mileage too quickly will hinder you. ~etc etc... blah, blah, blah.
You've read all that before. I want to talk about ATYPICAL reasons why you may be getting injured. Things you haven't even thought of before... so here goes!
Mistake #1 - You are running on a crumbling foundation.
What drives your forward motion as you run? Your legs? Your arms? Feet? Glutes? No, no, no and no.
Your CORE drives your motion when you are running. Specifically, torso rotation and counter-rotation drive your running gait.
This is important because it means that if your core isn't functioning properly, both in general AND while you're running, then your running gait is going to take a major hit. More important than strong glutes, quads or hamstrings is what is happening with your abdominal muscles, your ribcage, pelvic floor and diaphragm.
You've probably heard that strengthening your core is important to prevent running injuries. The problem is, for most runners, they think that means they need to do thousands of crunches or hold a plank for minutes on end. But you need to go deeper than that...
You need to find your transverse abdominis and be able to activate it. Your transverse abdominis helps to hold your pelvis in position. You also need to use your internal and external obliques to rotate your ribcage over your stable pelvis.
Mistake #2 - You aren't paying any attention to HOW YOU LOOK when you run.
We've all seen the meme but seriously... How you look when you run matters!
Why? Because the way you look (your posture and alignment) while running is a great indicator of how well you are functioning as a runner. Your body was designed to RUN using specific muscles in a certain way. It matters HOW you hold those muscles. Muscles that are aligned properly can function as they are supposed to and this will not only help you prevent injuries, it will help you run faster and feel more comfortable and free in your motion while running.
Your body and torso should be stacked - head, shoulders, hips - while running. Your ribcage (thoracic spine area) should rotate over your pelvis. Your hip bones should stay pointing straight ahead like headlights and your arms should provide lift as your foot swings through.
Not sure how you look when you run?
TAKE A VIDEO!! It is my number one recommendation for runners, lifters and exercisers of all varieties... The way you look while you workout matters!
Video yourself running - slow motion makes it really easy to see what your body is doing. You want a video from the front and back as well as a side view.
Check to see... ~if your body is stacked (head over shoulders over hips.) ~if your ribcage is rotating. ~if your hips are staying stable and facing straight ahead.
Mistake #3 - You think the source of pain is where the injury is.
Your shoulders are aching, your lower back is sore, your hamstrings are tight... Sometimes, the little aches and pains get worse and you worry that you'll be facing a real injury soon. This is when it is imperative to remember that in your body... Everything is Connected!
Let's use knees as an example. How many runners do you know with a current or past knee injury? Probably more than a few. Here's the deal; your "knee injury" could very likely be caused by something that is happening at your foot and/or your hip. Maybe you excessively pronate or supinate your foot while you run? Maybe your hips are tucked too far underneath you? Or your glutes and adductors aren't contracting properly? It is possible that your "knee injury" is actually disfunction that is happening somewhere else in your body but you feel the effect in your knee. In this case, anything done to "fix" your knee, is not going to actually solve your problem and as soon as you go back to running, you'll be dealing with more issues.
This goes back to HOW you run. Remember, every part in your body is connected! This is why you want strength that is balanced and proper stability as well as mobility.
Your core and your pelvic floor are the FOUNDATION of your body!
If you are ready to learn more, check out Pelvic Floor Tummy Fix!
Pelvic Floor Tummy Fix is my 4 week guided program to help you learn HOW to reconnect with your core, flatten your tummy and strengthen your pelvic floor so that your body FEELS AMAZING! Click here for details on Pelvic Floor Tummy Fix