How to Prevent Running Injuries

Competitive runners suffer far more and miss more training from running injuries than athletes in most other sports.

Modern running shoes have such heavy heel padding that they encourage runners to land on their heels during running, this increases the force of the foot striking the ground which in turn increases running injuries. When you run at a six-minute mile pace you land with the force equal to 3 times your body weight.

Running barefoot helps prevent running injuries by encouraging a person to land on the front part of their foot thus minimising the shock of the foot hitting the ground and by allowing the runner to position their foot at the time of foot-strike to better absorb the force.

How fast you run is determined by how long your stride is times how many times you turn over your steps each minute. That's call cadence times stride length. Most runners take 170 to 180 steps per minute regardless of how fast they run.

Less accomplished runners have a cadence of 150 to 160 steps per minute.

Taking shorter strides should allow you to move your feet faster increase your cadence and help you to run faster.

You do not need to run barefoot to prevent running injuries

You can prevent running injuries by leading on the front part of your foot. This causes you to take shorter strides and land on the ground with less force.

You can continue to use running shoes however trying to raise your knees higher, take shorter strides and land on your forefoot.

Most of the major running shoe manufacturers have developed shoes that mimic the effect of running barefoot while providing the protection offered by a shoe sole.

Ruth Sedgwick