Injury Prevention Guidelines for Runners

Our attitude about an injury is that it creates the opportunity to become a better runner. Injuries are the crucible of increased performance. The attitude you have is important to the recovery. It will make you a better runner.

Injuries are a part of most sports. Becoming a better runner most always involves getting an injury, then learning how to treat it. All experienced runners and athletes know what we’re saying here. If it were not for injuries, we’d never need to learn how to prevent them. Learning how to prevent and treat our injuries will make us better runners. This is our attitude and we’ll coach you along this line.

Treatment and Prevention is a Process

The process of learning how to prevent and treat an injury requires the motivation to learn and adjust after being injured. When starting a long distance training program with Boise RunWalk, coaches recommend starting at low volume (low miles) and low intensity (reduced speed) and gradually increasing each during the season, allowing for the necessary time for your body to rest and adapt.

Periodized training plans written by professional coaches

The training plan we provide you is periodized. The first period starts when you start training. This first period is a base-building period of low intensity and low volume. The second period sees increasing volume levels (distances increase) with strategically planned rest breaks. These rest breaks are critical to avoiding injury. Boise RunWalk’s training plans are published for beginner and inter-mediate skills.Talk to your coach about how to add cross-training and strength training. Start speed training if faster times are part of you goal, and only if your body is ready. Most people can add some variety of speed training starting in the second period. Speed training is not published in our group plans, because everyone is different. We have a separate article on speed training basics.

Some additional guidelines below.

  • read these additional articles on how to prevent and treat injuries
  • Listen to your body. Pain is a signal. Recognize differences between pain and fatigue. Fatigue is not necessarily bad, and expected.
  • Common rule of thumb: do not increase training volume or intensity more than approximately 10% per week. This works by extension too – no more than about a 20% increase over a 2-week period and so on.
  • Do a warm-up as part of your workout. 5-10 minutes. Warm the muscles and tissues, use dynamic range of motion.
  • Stretch after a workout, gently, patiently and properly. Yoga 2x each week really helps.
  • Do not exceed more than 2 workout days without a rest day. Cross-training anytime you like. Talk to coaches.
  • Avoid “too much too soon”. Let your body adapt while you balance rest and training over the season.
  • You cannot make-up for lost workouts, but there are things you can adjust moving forward. Work with your coaches.
  • It’s OK to miss a workout. The more workouts you miss requires reasonable adjustments to expectations. You might find it beneficial to miss some run workouts if you need cross-training.
  • If in pain, seek early intervention. It’s less expensive, less invasive and less likely to interrupt your training if you deal with it now.