At least half of all runners deal with at least one injury per year, and 25% of runners are injured at any given time.
Injuries happen because the physical stress from running is too much for your body to handle at that time. The human body is great at adapting to stress, but only when you apply that stress in small doses. When you apply the stress too quickly for your body to adapt, something breaks down.
Every time your foot lands on the ground, your leg absorbs two to three times your body weight. Multiply that by the number of steps you take to run five miles, and multiply that by how many times you run each week, and you can see how much stress your legs have to deal with to be a runner.
Want some secrets to avoid injury?
Secret #1: Train smart. To train smart, train at more effective levels of effort to get the best results. The goal of training is to obtain the greatest benefit while incurring the least amount of stress. That means you want to run as slow as you can while still meeting the purpose of the workout and obtaining the desired result. Follow a systematic and progressive training plan, with each cycle of training building on what came before.
Secret #2: Increase your weekly running mileage very slowly and spread it out over the whole week. How quickly you increase your weekly mileage probably has the greatest impact on whether you get injured. The slower you increase your weekly mileage, the less chance you’ll get injured. Many books and articles quote the 10% rule of increasing mileage, but there’s nothing special about 10%, and you can often increase by more than that if you’re smart about how you do it.
Secret #3: Don’t increase your running mileage every week. Run the same mileage for two to four weeks before increasing it. Give your legs a chance to fully absorb and adapt to the workload. You want 30 miles per week to be a normal experience for your body before increasing to 35 miles per week. And that takes time.
Secret #4: Don’t increase the distance of your long run every week. This is especially important if you’re entering unchartered territory with your long runs (i.e., you’ve never run that distance before). Repeat the same long run for a few weeks before running longer. You want a 9-mile run to become normal before you try to run 10 miles. Most marathon and half-marathon training groups make the costly mistake of ramping up the long run too quickly because their training programs are only five to six months long, so they increase the distance of the long run every week throughout their programs until it’s time to taper two to three weeks before the race. That’s a good way for new or recreational runners to get injured because the stress increases week after week without a break. If you’re running your first marathon or half-marathon and you’re starting from a short(ish) long run, you need to give yourself much longer than five or six months to prepare without risk of injury.
Secret #5: Don’t make the long run so long. To avoid injury, don’t make your long run such a large percentage of your weekly running. Ideally, your long run shouldn’t be more than about a third of your weekly mileage. So, if your long run is 10 miles, you should run at least 30 miles per week. If your long run is 20 miles, you should run at least 60 miles per week. The majority of runners don’t run that much, so you need to be creative when training so that you don’t accumulate so much stress in one run. Don’t misunderstand—the long run should be stressful. After all, you’re running for a long time and trying to make yourself exhausted so your body adapts. However, you don’t want the long run to be so much more stressful than any other run during the week. It’s always better to spread the stress around. Complete a medium-long run mid-week that’s about 65 to 75 percent of the length or duration of your long run. This strategy helps to ameliorate the potential damage of your long run being more than a third of your weekly mileage.
Secret #6: Run EASY on your easy days. The biggest mistake runners make is running too fast on easy days. This adds unnecessary stress to your legs without any extra benefit and will make it more difficult to complete a quality run on your harder days. Easy runs should feel gentle and allow you to hold a conversation (about 70-75% max heart rate).
Secret #7: Never increase your weekly mileage and the intensity of your workouts at the same time. When you begin to include interval training and speed work into your program, either reduce the overall mileage for the week or maintain your mileage from where it was before you added the extra intensity. Your legs can handle only so much stress at once. Trying to increase your running volume while also increasing the intensity of your workouts is too much for most runners to handle.
So, my girls had a blast at flyball over the weekend! And they ran spectacularly! They both exceeded my expectations to the nth degree!
Envy ran in her first tournament ever! 12 heats! And on her 11th heat of the weekend she ran a 3.998! For non-flyball people, that is pretty fast for your first tournament while you are still getting a handle on the game! I was completely blown away! She was focused the entire time! And my teammates were amazing in giving her the chance to run since that wasn’t the original plan!
And Callie did great after our first race (which was absolutely horrid on her part and mine–spit balls, bad starts–let’s forget that happened). It was the first time I had run her since August at the Go Dog Go tournament, so we finally got things together! And I think she had a PR in the last race of the day! I saw that she ran a 4.2xx which is faster than she has ever run for me before! I can’t wait to see all the official times for both girls!
AND Anthony flew into town for the tournament! He was an amazing supporter and took lots and lots of video of Miss Envy for me! And he got to run a dog which I think was a lot of fun for him! (I at least hope it was!) But now he knows what the game is all about, and he got to see some really fast dogs run!
Saturday night after racing, we went to dinner with Shawn and Bob. We tried this place called Black Cat Cafe. Soooo good. And there were like 10 things on the menu I wanted to order! We got some of their foccacia bruschetta, and I tried their Hawaiian chicken burger. With sweet potato fries. Yummmm. And we split bread pudding for dessert. The perfect dinner after a full day of racing! The pictures doesn’t do the dinner justice.
Quote of the Day:
“To the ones who still believe in dreams: Chase them. Chase them until you’re out of breath. Then, keep running.” -Anonymous
Remember how I made those Allspice Crumb Muffins for flyball that were just okay? Well, I also made this Pumpkin Crumb Cake and it was a hit and got devoured within several hours on Saturday! Love it!
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
– 1 box yellow cake mix
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1/2 cup butter (melted)
– 1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin puree
– 3 eggs, beaten
– 1/2 cup white sugar
–1/4 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 3 tablespoons butter, softened
– Preheat oven to 350* and pray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.
– Reserve 1 cup cake mix. In a large bowl combine the remaining dry cake mix with 1 egg and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix will and pat into the prepared pan.
– Mix together pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour over crust.
– Combine reserved cake mix with 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons softened butter. Crumble over pumpkin filling.
– Bake for 40-45 minutes.