ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learn to run injury free and keep running for years

Updated on January 24, 2012


A bag of peas in the freezer are great for slapping onto sore muscles and tired, injured legs and feet.
A bag of peas in the freezer are great for slapping onto sore muscles and tired, injured legs and feet.

Some common runners injuries to be avoided

  • When people are pretty fit or take up running again after many years their biggest enemy can be the "over eager "syndrome!
  • They feel fit and as if nothing can stop them, which is great for motivation, but is the body really ready for the pounding of the run.
  • Every footstep you take will have to carry your total weight slamming down on hard tarmac. Every muscle, tendon or joint in their body needs to prepare for this and get used to it.
  • There are many good programs to follow on runners sites and these should be followed with caution.
  • If you feel that you have not done enough, cross train or stretch and leave the running until next planned session.
  • People who take the time to make up these plans know only too well the heartbreak an injury brings to a runner.
  • Injuries do not have to be big to ground you. They all have one thing in common, they are horribly painful and make every step stressful. Motivation collapses and the threat of giving up is all too often the result.
  • I have heard many people say " i can't run because i have a really bad back" Or " My ankles are too weak" or "My knees are worn out".
  • In some cases these excuses are true but in many others these are people who have tried running, just couldn't find it comfortable enough or they overdid it within the first month. The pain they felt was justification enough never to do it again.
  • Well i can honestly say that i have run with many runners who have old skiing injuries to their knees, who have had weak backs and who have ankles that are like loose rags but still manage a marathon or at least a 10km run in spite of their old injuries.
  • The secret to running after an injury or running injury free is nothing magical it is called " Time and perseverance". You just have to learn to listen to your body and respect what it is telling you.
  • It is neither tough nor smart to run through pain thinking that it will get better especially if it is in the joints or tendons. BUT it does not have to stop you becoming a good runner.
  • Running has many positive advantages for people. If you run within your capabilities and try to push your limit slightly you get progress if you push your limits you can be knocked back by a force you never expected. Ignore your body when it pleas with you and it will repay you with the same respect.
  • Your mind and your body have to work in harmony.
  • We here marathon runners talk about the pain of the last 10km and meeting the wall, but this is something totally different to running to keep fit and healthy. Many of these guys are competitive and running as a career. They are competing for large sums of money and their pain is often muscular. These guys are so well trained that they know their muscles will repair and heal a lot quicker than a hobby runners muscles.
  • To run free of injury you benefit by starting with a goal in mind and that goal is: " What is my dream? and what do i want out of this?"
  • You test your ability and then you have a specific plan made up to follow which will build your muscles up gradually until they are strong enough to protect your joints. Your tendons are something else, they need to be stretched gently and if they are over stretched they become very very painful. A broken tendon does not grow back like torn muscle it needs operated by a surgeon to mend it.
  • So all i can say is that a sensible plan and getting better gradually is the safest and most sensible thing to do if you want benefits from your running and to be able to do this for many years.
  • You can see many elderly people running in marathons, they are not out to win but many of them finish in a much better time than a lot of eager youngsters for the mere fact that they do this at an even and strong pace suited to them.
  • I have written up some of the most common injuries and problems runners face when running races or even during training.
  • Look out for signs of these and do something about it before it goes too far.
  • Prevention is definitely much better than cure.
  • Lets start with a mild problem:
  • This comes on suddenly and a sharp pain digs into the side of your abdomen. I don't know anyone runner or not that has never experienced this type of pain, it knocks the wind out of you.
  • This is most commonly caused by a cramp in the diaphragm.
  • Sometimes it can be gas in your intestines or if you have eaten a lot of food or drunk too much water just before your run.
  • To help avoid this pain:
  • The obvious, don't eat too soon before running. Try to give it at least 2 hours before running to let your food be digested.
  • When drinking during a run take small sips often and not a bottle at a time.
  • If during a race:
  • Slow down and exhale forcefully when the foot on the opposite side to the pain strikes the ground.
  • Dig your fingers under your ribcage and into the cramping muscle, thus stretching the diaphragm.
  • Some people believe in picking up a stone and carrying it for a while, but how this works is beyond my knowledge, but if it works do it!
  • The plantar fascia is the tissue that runs from the base of the toe to the heel. Inflammation or irritation of this tissue causes this problem.
  • When you get out of bed in the morning the first few steps are painful. The foot feels tight and the pain can go up through the heel.
  • The causes of plantar fasciitis can be many but all point to one thing the tendons under the foot are being stretched to their limit too fast and they are yelling at you! Maybe you have flat feet or you over pronate and this is adding to the problem or even the cause of it. Your arches might be very high and causing you to run in a way that puts more pressure on the tendon…..who knows before you get this checked up? Never ignore foot pain it can be cured before it knocks you off your feet.
  • Another cause of this agonizing foot problem is sudden changes in training like sudden increases in speed, distance, incline, etc. Or poor or worn out footwear.
  • Avoiding this problem:
  • Sensible training plan that doesn't push you too far and lets your body stretch gradually to maintain your speed and ability.
  • Stretch exercises before and after a run.
  • Have your feet analyzed while running by a good shoe supplier for over pronation, flat feet, high arches etc and find shoes that suit you and your running style. ( Some people will say nowadays that this is wrong and everybody should run barefoot!!! ) This might be good for some people but unfortunately for me evolution and high heels have caused me problems that make me grateful for my custom soles. I say that it is your choice and responsibility alone to find what suits you.
  • If this type of injury is suspected:
  • Apply ice to the inflamed area for ten minutes. ( Even stick your feet in an ice bath and water for as long as you can stick it ) However, never put ice directly onto your bare skin and hold this can damage underlying tissue. Put a thin tea towel between the injury and the ice bag.
  • Another good tip is to always have a bag of frozen peas in your freezer. Put these in a towel and wrap this around the foot. You can roll your foot over the bag and the small peas act like a massager.
  • Unfortunately, when this injury comes about you have to rest up, hard impact will only irritate the injury further.
  • Going to a good sports physiotherapist will help, they can give you stretch exercises in addition to treatment that will get you back out running in the shortest possible time. This treatment also helps the avoidance of further problems.
  • There are many knee problems that can arise. It can be the side of the knee, under the knee, behind the knee, over the knee or the kneecap itself. This is because the knee is a joint with tendons and ligaments keeping it all together.
  • If you google knee problems when running you will have enough to read for days!
  • Any knee problems should be explored and treated by a doctor.
  • To avoid knee injuries it is good to remember that your knee is taking the impact of your full weight when running. The surface you run on will also affect the impact.
  • Good shoes are essential if you have knee problems to help absorb the shock of landing. Some people land mid foot, some forefoot and some on their heels. There are shoes for every type of runner so invest well and you will protect yourself as best you can from getting running related injuries.
  • Tight or weak quadriceps could also be the cause. So stretch and strengthen the quadricep muscle. This serves as prevention.
  • Like any other injury ice is your best friend.
  • Shin Splints are a painful condition that develops along the inside of the shin. It can occur along the lower half of the tibia, anywhere from a few inches above the ankle to about halfway up the shin.
  • The main cause of shin splints, can be simply put into four words: Too much too soon.
  • What helps? RICE!
  • Shin splints can be caused by tight calf or tibialis muscles. This can be helped by stretching exercises to the muscle.
  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a step or platform. Gently lower your heels towards the floor, thus stretching your calves. ( This also helps for plantar fasciitis ) Hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat at least 5 times.
  • The tibialis anterior stretch:
  • This stretch for this muscle requires a partner to help you :
  • Sit with your legs extended towards your partner and let him/ her gently press down on the top of your foot pushing the toes towards the ground.Hold for 20 seconds and release.
  • Apply force gently and slowly. Don't force the stretch beyond the person's ability.
  • Repeat these exercises at least 5 times.
  • These exercises should be done at least three times each day.
  • Good luck on your running for many many years injury free!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 6 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Thanks for your kind words. I think I will look into the shoe thing as suggested.

    • Aisla profile image

      Carolyn Mikkelsen 6 years ago from Norway

      Ahhh you poor soul Ouuuch! This is a nasty little injury and can effect your whole day.

      However, don't think it is the end of your training because it can and does get better........the downside is that it takes time. Make sure you don't have any heel spurs developing at the same time. If you have i would really advice you to have your training shoes evaluated to see if you need some extra support. Some believe in barefoot running as a solution but as we have evolved with high heels and pinched toes for so long i prefer to take the cushioned shoe with support as my medicine. Good luck and hope it gets better soon.

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 6 years ago from Kolkata, India

      I have a injury for last two days and am resting. I just found one of your hubs and after reading, went on to read this as this sounded interesting. And I come upon PLANTAR FASCIITIS. Which is exactly what I think my problem is. But I had not known of the ice bag solution, and in fact I aggravated the issue by pressing on my toe in hauling myself up and down from the bike seat and in my high heels. Thanks for this informative Hub. Voted up.

    • Aisla profile image

      Carolyn Mikkelsen 6 years ago from Norway

      It's easy enough to tell others what they shouldn't do but it is just soooo hard to listen to the inner voice yelling "Noooooo" I know it only too well. I am one of those, " Do as i say, not as i do " type of people. I have had every runners injury imaginable and still don't learn!!! But if someone hears my plea..............

    • sashas89 profile image

      sashas89 6 years ago from A Series of Tubes

      Can't agree more with the "over eager syndrome". As part of my new year's resolution, I started hitting the gym after a gap of 2 years and proceeded to lift a ridiculously heavy weight on the bench press. End result? A searing pain in the elbow that has kept me out of action for three weeks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)