Plan-to-Run to avoid injury

By: Brandon Klump MSPT, AT, ATC
Co-Owner and Clinical Director
Foot, Ankle & Running Center of Jackson - ORS
 
Whether you’re running to compete or to get into shape, you must have a plan. Every year, too many promises of getting into shape or running a specific 5k time are cut short because of injuries. Why are there so many injuries?  Because many people fail to take the time, do the research, or ask enough questions to devise a running program that is accurately fit for them. Unfortunately there is no “one size fits all” program that will cover everyone. However, there are pieces that must be in place for any program to be successful. All runners either experienced or beginners must start by assessing their current level of fitness generally and more specially their running base.  It is very important that this progress leads to realistic short-term goals.  

Many of us get into trouble because we attempt to increase to much way to quickly and end up with what we call an overuse injury (where we overload the tissues to the point of causing inflammation and breakdown instead of the desired increase in strength/endurance). This is such an important step that it is often necessary to seek outside advice from a coach, experienced runner or healthcare professional after developing a short-term plan to make sure that it is the appropriate level for your specific situation.
 
Once training begins, it is not only very important to stick to the plan to avoid over training, but to listen to your body for signs that your plan is not too aggressive. All runners are at risk for breakdown and for most of us our daily lives only increase that risk as we have many other activities and obligations that do put stress on our bodies and can impact our training result. So, all in all, be careful, start slowly, and remember that with the right plan all of us can move forward into better health and fitness.
 
Brandon is a Physical Therapist at The Foot, Ankle & Running Center in Jackson.He can be reached at brandonpt@orsmi.com