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Sports Specific Training tips for runners

Sport Specific Training for Runners



Most do not think of running as a dangerous sport like football or soccer. Actually, running can lead to just as many injuries as these contact sports do. In other words, running is not without its risks, and if you are a runner you already know this. If not, next time you talk to runners ask them if they have ever experienced a running injury. There is a very good chance the answer will be yes, and if you were to provide them with a pen and paper they would likely have no problem constructing a long list of injuries they have incurred as a result of running.



Whether you are an avid daily runner or someone who enjoys the occasional walk or jog, injury prevention is key to your longevity in the activity and/or sport. Prevention means preventing an injury BEFORE it happens. Successful injury prevention will ensure you can continue to pursue your passion/exercise routine and avoid those pesky and oftentimes chronic injuries. While acute or sudden injury does occur in running, more often than not it is a chronic injury that stops a runner in his or her tracks. Runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and IT band syndrome are just a few of the more common injuries experienced by runners. The good news is that most injuries are p


reventable through properly guided sport specific strength training. This training not only focuses on building running strength but improving movement/stride/form, flexibility, durability, and efficiency as well.

As a runner and former cross country and track coach for almost two decades, I have experienced and seen my share of running injuries. As a certified personal trainer, I also like to think I have helped prevent some injuries. One thing is for certain, staying healthy while running requires consistent and hard work. My go


al in writing this article is to provide you with a starting point to preventing running injuries while offering some valuable insight and additional resources so you can stay healthy and continue to enjoy the great sport of running.

First and foremost, I recommend that if you enjoy running or want to begin running and want to stay healthy, you should pick up the book entitled: Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength, and Speed, written by sports


physiologist and biomechanics expert Jay Dicharry. It is by far the most comprehensive and in-depth look into running specific strength training that I have seen. It also offers a very doable and practical approach to beginning your running specific strength training with a plan that includes at home workouts and detailed images to guide you on your journey.

Next, I recommend seeking out a certified personal trainer who is experienced in both running and strength training. Believe it or not, this is not always easy. Many dedicated and experienced certified personal trainers (CPTs) have


never been runners nor would they ever recommend it. As a result, it might be difficult for them to assess your running stride and movement and then diagnose the issue and right training approach that ensures you stay healthy and injury-free. Next, know your goals, where you want to go with your running, and what you want to accomplish. You should share this with your CPT and these goals should guide the training process. Then, make a plan to evaluate your progress. I encourage any individual who is just taking up running to participate in a local race, beginning with 5k. Pure Fitness will host a 5K in December and training gui


des will be provided for those interested.

Last, running is an art and science. What you look like when doing it and how you feel while doing it matter, and each definitely impacts the other. In fact, many things you do as a runner impact your experience in the sport and your ongoing health. The surface you run on, the shoes you run in, where your feet land in relati


on to your body, your stride rate, the distance you run, how fast you run it, and how often you run are just a few examples of things that must be considered and analyzed. Close analysis of these factors and other information to guide your strength training program are vital and if done right can enable you to thrive as a runner and reach or exceed all your running goals. Here are a list of specific exercises to improve your running


strength and prevent injuries...


  1. Single leg deadlift: Stand with both feet under hips. Shift your weight to the right leg. Slowly start hinging at the waist, tipping your torso forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your arms straight, at shoulder height, and perpendicular to the floor at all times.



  1. Side Plank with a twist: set up in a side plank from your forearm with your elbow right under your shoulder. Lift up into a Side Plank, squeezing your glutes and keeping your chest open toward the ceiling as you drive your bottom hip up. Then rotate back open and repeat. Feel your body working to stabilize as y


ou twist.

  1. Superman: lie on your stomach and simultaneously lift your arms and legs off the ground while keeping your core engaged.





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