Tips to avoid running injuries

6:12 PM, May 17, 2011   |    comments
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- The Twin Cities is finally having a string of sunny days. It appears people couldn't be happier to be doing just about anything outside. That includes running.

But Region's Hospital has said it's noticing more and more running injuries.

A runner in high school, 32-year-old Michael Sonday of Saint Paul returned to running two years ago. He said, "As I'm getting older I realize my metabolism is slowing down."

While training for this year's Twin Cities Marathon, he ran into injury. Sonday said, "I started having pain on the inside of my shins."

More complicated than shin splints, he sought help at Regions Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic. And he's not the only one.

Lisa Zeman, a running physical therapist, said, "We've seen a large increase in volume of runners coming to physical therapy. We've actually had a 47% increase in growth year to date."

She said with more people deciding to run 10k's, half marathons and more, she has some tips to offer runners.

Zeman said, "If you're new to running, following a new-to-running training program versus a moderate or high tempo, even though those might be your goals."

She also said new runners should cross-train, mixing running with biking or swimming on alternate days.

A tip for all runners is to wear comfortable running shoes. She said the shoe that's best for your foot is the one that feels the best.

And Zeman said it's important to get any pain checked out by a medical professional if it lasts longer than 48 hours.

But her most important tip is do not over stride. She said, "The further your foot gets in front of your body the more strain, more pressure, which we call impact force, goes through your ankle, knee and hip joint."

Sonday now takes shorter, quicker strides and Zeman corrected problems in his form, including a toe that would pull up as he ran and some imbalance problems with his left leg.

The final result? Zeman helped Sonday's to remove his pain so he can now continue to train.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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