Running is obviously a popular form of exercise where some 40 million people run in the USA each year. This statistic is easy to recognize as running is a convenient, socially oriented way of burning extra calories while improving the health of your cardiovascular system. Although running may seem like an intuitive process, improper form can, over time, cause painful injuries. Some of these common injuries include iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and more. During the course of a mile a typical runner will land on each leg 500 – 1000 times. If improper form is used, wrong forces will be applied to your joints thousands of times over leading to injury. A runner may reduce the discomfort by altering his or her stride (compensate) which will compound the problem even further.
To evaluate your running technique, start by reading the article “The Perfect Form” located at the Runner’s World website. However, preventing injuries doesn’t stop with technique. Wearing the right shoes, stretching, strength training, and managing your intensity are some of the major factors allowing for a pain free and more enjoyable running experience.