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  • Writer's pictureBarry Kiernan

How to Prevent The Running Injury Cycle

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

People get into running for a variety of different reasons including improving fitness, boost mental health, an escape from stress and the challenge of pushing your limits. Once you feel that rush of the “runners high” it can be hard to escape the addiction of running.

However, like everything in life, it is about keeping the correct balance between what you are able to do and what you want to do mentally and physically. Research suggests that up to 50 % of all runner can have at least one running related in a given year. The body works within a window of stress and if you push if beyond this range it can cause injury. The good news is that the body has an incredible ability to recover and adapt as long as you listen to it.

This blog will highlight the 4 most common reason why I see runners getting injured in clinic and coaching courses. This information should help you to recognize the signs before they get too serious.


This is by far the most common training error that I see in clinic. It is incredible simple advice but very difficult to implement when you have got into the habit of “doing too much”. What I mean by this is people often start off easy as a beginner runner. However, once their fitness levels are good they quickly increase their running

distance, sessions per week or training volume total per week. So for example, you trained 3 times a week for 6 weeks then suddenly you increased it to 5 times per week and increase the distance in each session!!! This is a recipe for disaster as the body can only handle small increases in training volume at one time. A good guide for training increase might be between 10-15%.


Very closely linked to training error and probably almost as important but often completely neglected is sleep and recovery. Planning is the most important aspect of rest and recovery. Runners need to schedule their training so that they have enough recovery. This might mean only have 3 running session per week which are well spread out. If you miss a session you shouldn’t try to double up on another day as you could fatigue and injury yourself. Getting adequate sleep is massively important to help the body adapt to training load and strengthen muscle, bones, tendons and ligaments. Finally running can be very repetitive on the body causing certain parts of the body to get loaded and stiffen up- our body loves variety. When you plan your training try and do other activities like yoga, weight training, swimming, bike or cross-trainer that complement your training.


Strength training can be overlook by runners as they feel that running will be enough to keep them strong. However, if strength training is implanted properly it can enhance running economy and performance by allowing you to run faster and stronger with less fatigue. It may prevent fatigue and allow the muscle to absorb the impact for longer rather than tendons or bones. Lastly, it wont make you slower as some runners might think, a well structure programme with running specific muscles can really be of benefit.


Everybody is different in terms of body type, movements and structure. But it can be really important to prevent injury to use some basic running technique movements. The most common fault I see at the clinic is over-striding were runners reach out in-front of them with their knee straightened to increase their step length. This can cause knee, hip and back issues for runners and can be easily fixed with some coaching drills. In clinic we use slow motion video capture to analysis how you run and provide a 6 week course to help improve your running technique.

All of the above tips are simple to implement however it can be difficult to see your own mistakes. RunFit specialises in running technique, injury rehabilitation and strength training. If you need a professional to guide you back from injury get in contact with our Runfit coach.

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