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					                Center for Sports Medicine

                         Injury-Free Running
What are the most training common mistakes made by runners?

   Mistake #1: Increase mileage or intensity too quickly. Increase your training
    mileage/time by no more than 10 - 20 % weekly. For example, if you’re currently
    running 20 miles per week, increase your total weekly mileage by no more than 2 - 4
    miles the next week. A periodic long run is part of race preparation, but you should
    reduce other training components or introduce a rest day. Gradually introduce
    speed or hill work. Change only one training component at a time. For example,
    if you’ve decided to begin some hill work (intensity), don’t increase your running
    mileage the same week.
   Mistake # 2: Ignore the warning signs of an injury and continue to train with
    pain. This is a sure way to end up watching other people run the race! Go see a
    doctor if any of the these items describe YOU!:
        Pain in a joint or pain which limits your workout
        Pain which doesn’t disappear within two days after your training run
        Pain which begins to come on earlier in your workout instead of later
   Mistake # 3: No rest! You should have at least one rest day each week. You
    should also have periodic light training weeks (every 4 - 6 weeks), particularly after a
    race or heavy week.
   Mistake # 4: Neglect a proper stretching and strengthening program. “I don’t
    need to strengthen my legs because running does that”. Wrong! Due to the
    repetitive nature of running, muscle imbalances which cause injuries are very
    common. Tight or weak muscles should be addressed with a specific conditioning
    program to avoid “breakdown” from the chronic stress of marathon training.
   Mistake # 5: Worn-out or improperly fitting running
    shoes. Train in a supportive, well-fitting pair of running
    shoes, with ample room in the toebox. Depending on your
    weight and running surface, you should replace your
    running shoes every 250-500 miles. The sole of your shoe
    is made with extremely durable rubber which may still look
    good even if the midsole is no longer providing cushioning
    or support. Remember that shoes wear out before they
    look worn out! If you set your shoes on a level surface and
    they tilt in or out, they’ve begun to br eak down and will no
    longer support you. Nagging foot, knee, back or hip pain
    may be another signal that you need new footwear.

Corte Madera Town Center         Saint Francis Memorial Hospital   Alpine Center
770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 206   900 Hyde Street                   1777 Botelho Dr., Suite 110
Corte Madera, CA 94925           San Francisco, CA 94109           Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(415) 927-1900                   (415) 353-6400                    (925) 934-3536
   Mistake # 6: Try to make up for a lost week of running (due to illness or travel)
    by doubling your mileage the next week (very bad move)
   Mistake # 7: Forget that cross-training with other aerobic workout activities
    can contribute to overall fitness and race preparation. You can do up to 20% of
    your mileage in activities like cycling, deep water running, swimming, stair climbing
    etc. to reduce wear and tear on your body.
   Mistake # 8: Listen to too many people. Don’t beat yourself into the ground by
    training with friends who have a different fitness level, longer history of running,
    longer stride or much faster pace!

What are the warning signs of overtraining?
 Increased occurrence of injury or sickness
 “Heavy” leg muscles or delayed recovery from training
 Fatigue, no energy, poor quality sleep, moodiness
 Boredom with training (you can think of any number of other things you’d rather be
  doing and have to force yourself to get out there)
 Irregular menstrual cycle or loss of menstrual periods
 Take your true resting pulse for one minute in the morning when you wake up. Get
  to know your typical pulse rate. One of the adaptations to physical conditioning is a
  progressively lower resting heart rate. However, if your resting pulse becomes
  higher after a period of intense conditioning, this indicates too much physical stress
  on the body.

What environmental conditions might have an impact on injuries or health?

   Run on grass or packed dirt trails when possible. These put the least strain on
    your joints. However, be aware of the path on which you are running. Rocks, holes,
    tree roots and other debris are likely to be found on these routes, making falls or
    ankle sprains more common.
   Stay clear of concrete sidewalks. They are the hardest surfaces on which you
    can run in the city and contribute to many overuse injuries. Some studies suggest
    that prolonged pounding of your feet on concrete can produce enough force to
    break red blood cells, decreasing your body’s ability to carry oxygen.
   Asphalt pavement is more forgiving. Remember to go against traffic to see the
    cars headed toward you instead of having them sneak up from behind. Avoid
    listening to loud music on headphones so you are aware of the sounds of
    approaching cars and trucks from all sides of you.
   Stay on level ground. Road surfaces are curved in such a way as to allow water
    and debris to run off the sides and into the sewer. Moving outward from the center
    of a street, the pavement slopes downward creating a slanted surface the farther
    away you are from the center of the road. Running on the edge of street, forces the
    downhill leg to bend slightly inward. This action stretches your iliotibial band (ITB), a
    ligament that runs along the outside of your thigh, rubbing it against bone and
    causing inflammation. Alternate the sides of the street on your route so that you
    don’t have the same leg consistently on the downhill slope.
   Avoid streets that are highly trafficked and times of day when streets are more
    congested. Because exercise requires faster, deeper breaths, you take more of the
    car exhaust into your lungs when you run. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and
    sulfur dioxide, all of which come from car exhaust, can both hinder your
    performance and harm your health, particularly for asthmatics. Carbon monoxide,
    the main component of car exhaust, interferes with the body's ability to carry oxygen
    and forces the heart to pump harder. Other pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and
    sulfur dioxide, may irritate the eyes, constrict air passages and lower the body's
    resistance to colds and other respiratory illnesses. When you can, run first thing in
    the morning or after evening rush hour when traffic patterns are lighter.
   In the summer months, work out in the early morning or after sunset. Ground-
    level ozone is created when fuel gases already released into the air interact with
    sunlight. Levels are particularly high on days when the air is still, the sun is bright,
    and the temperature is warm. Ozone irritates breathing passages and can decrease
    the lung's working ability by damaging the cells lining the air spaces in the lungs.
    Damaged cells are shed and replaced, but if this depletion occurs repeatedly, the
    lungs could become damaged. Check the newspaper or for ozone
    and weather reports. Be aware of the quality of the air you’re breathing! The
    Environmental Protection Agency has developed the Air Quality Index (AQI) to
    report levels of air pollution from level 0 to 300. At levels over 100, limit strenuous
    outdoor activity.

If you have an injury or medical complaint that is affecting your running, experts at the
Center for Sports Medicine can help you find out what’s going on and get you back on
the road. Our dietician can work with your food preferences to put together a training
diet and our sport psychologist can help you get over your pre-race jitters.

Corte Madera Town Center         Saint Francis Memorial Hospital   Alpine Center
770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 206   900 Hyde Street                   1777 Botelho Dr., Suite 110
Corte Madera, CA 94925           San Francisco, CA 94109           Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(415) 927-1900                   (415) 353-6400                    (925) 934-3536

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