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Techniques of Jogging Without Injury

Updated on December 4, 2012

Start Your Jogging Season The Right Way

Spring is approaching and with it comes increased motivation and enthusiasm for many of us to boost our jogging efforts. And why not. Who doesn't want to be in good shape and toned before the summer clothes come out again.

A lot of joggers, particularly those who are beginners, make one or two blunders when they start off. They have a tendency to get so fired up and enthusiastic that they try to run far too long distances, far too quickly and far too prematurely. They tend to believe that much more is much better and consequently, they frequently start getting typical excessive use jogging and running injuries.

Proceed with caution. If you're too enthusiastic with your jogging routine, without first building up your body, you are liable to sustain injuries.

Everyone who jogs regularly, runs a relatively high risk of injury, unless they condition the body properly and build up strength. Injury happens. Just when you've worked out your goal to get in shape, it's abruptly brought to an end by an injury, setting your plans to get in shape back weeks.

If you want to achieve your goals and make your dream of getting in shape a reality, it's important to have two things in mind - patience and technique.

Start Slowly and Build Up Running Techniques

There are two main reasons why so many are becoming injured, while running or jogging. Initially, people tend to start out too hard, pushing their body beyond its abilities. Secondly, joggers and runners all too often start out fine, but don't think about technique, often resulting in more injuries.

Build up your training slowly and learn to jog or run properly. Start your running or jogging sessions slowly. Don't overdo it to start with and definitely don't forget to warm up first, to avoid injuries.

Bear in mind that when starting a training program, we are often very motivated because we want to get in shape quickly. Unfortunately, the body can rarely keep up with that motivation and typically we end up - giving up or worse still - injured.

If you condition your body properly, you'll be able to train harder, but it needs to be done properly. We often have difficulty accepting that it takes a long time to build up the body to cope with regular jogging and running.

It requires enormous patience and discipline to get started with running training. You have to build it up very slowly. You can in principle consider the first 8-12 weeks as a sort of preparation time when you are preparing your body to cope with an appropriate amount of training that gives you a good growth.

Foot Position on Landing when Running

Think about technique rather than training load

Instead of putting too much emphasis on increasing your training load, you may want to spend time working with your running techniques. Very few are really aware of how to run properly, but actually the vast majority of running injuries are related to an improper running technique.

It is not enough to be equipped with the proper jogging or running shoes. They don't teach you to run, and they do not change the way you run. Nine out of ten runners put down their heel in front of their body.

Every time you set foot in the ground in front of the body, you're putting the brakes on for yourself, and it is this deceleration that causes a great strain on your muscles, tendons, joints and bones, and which ultimately leads to an injury.

Landing on the toes, will more often than not make your calf muscles tight and exhausted quickly and could even bring on shin pains. If on the other hand you're landing on your heels, this means you're braking because you are making over strides, which typically wastes your energy and may consequently bring on painful injuries. Instead try to make sure you land on the middle section of your foot, and then move through to the front of your toes.

By learning to run correctly, you can move your landing closer to the lower body and once this has been accomplished, you also reduce the braking force significantly, which limits putting strain on the legs and body and that way you will reduce the likelihood of being injured.

Jogging Safely

Depending on when and where you're jogging you'll need to bear a couple of things in mind. There is simply more safety when jogging in numbers. Therefore, if you like to or only have time to run in the evening or after dark, it's advisable to join a group or find a jogging partner, if something happens then you're not alone and can get help quickly.

No matter where you run, you should be visible to others - even during the day. Even if you're jogging in a park or a location where vehicles aren't permitted, you need to be visible to other joggers, cyclists and people. Put on something reflective, that's visible from all viewpoints.

Bear in mind that if something does happen, it's wise to have some sort of identification on you just in case. A mobile phone or ID card can easily be kept in a running belt and won't obstruct your jogging session.

Carrying enough to catch a bus or taxi, is a good idea just in case you become injured or run into bad weather suddenly. If you have your mobile phone with you, someone may be available to come and get you.

If you're forced to run on or by a busy road, make sure you run against the traffic and don't forget the reflective clothing so you're visible at all times.


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    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 6 years ago from Scandinavia

      Watch out for landing on toes and heels - you'll end up a wreck at the end of your jogging session :) It's really difficult to not do one or the other. I find it's something you have to make an effort to focus on to get it right. Still haven't got it down to a fine art, but working on it. Cheers and thanks for your valuable input Michael.

      Happy jogging


    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for the tips starbright. I tend to run on my toes but have found that at the end of a run I'm on my heels and that this gives me lower back pain. I'll keep this in mind the next time I'm out on the road.

      Night running is a real hazard and I try to keep to back roads so that I'm not hit. Cheers Michael