Trail running is a great way to spice up your running routine by getting a little closer to nature! However, trails are hardly ever forgiving. Often, they are teeming with treacherous inclines and declines, switchbacks, hairpin turns, fallen trees and branches, and errant rocks looking to sideline you. A review of 22 various studies regarding trail runners revealed that the most vulnerable anatomical sites to injury on the trail are the plantar foot, ankle, Achilles tendon, knee and lower back.1
Let’s chat about running safety. When you go out for a run, safety might not be the first thing on your mind. Unfortunately, running at night or in the dark can lead to more dangerous or vulnerable situations. Whether it’s your work schedule, the hot temperatures, or just your preference to run outdoors in the dark, these tips will ensure you enjoy your run and can do so safely.
Have you ever considered participating in a video running analysis? They can be beneficial to runners for several reasons. With improved form, your running economy improves, leading to less wasted energy and potentially, a quicker pace! Your risk for injury can also be reduced, allowing you to continue running and to reach all of your goals in the future. Whether you are a seasoned runner looking to reach new goals, a runner who has recently taken time off due to an injury, or someone who is completely new to running, a Video Gait Analysis (VGA) can help!
As a runner, I have been told by friends or family that running will “wear out your joints,” that “it causes osteoarthritis,” and that it “is bad for your knees.” Although most of these comments were few and far between, they stuck with me. Since becoming a physical therapist, I started to hear comments like this more frequently. However, this does not line up exactly with my understanding of the human body and how it responds to various stimuli. So I explored the question: Does running cause arthritis and should I be worried?
“When things look worst, we run the most.” This is a quote from Christopher McDougall in the famous book Born to Run and how, in times of great stress, we run. McDougall mentions three times in this country’s history that there have been substantial running booms: the Great Depression, Vietnam, and September 11th1. “Maybe it was a coincidence. Or maybe there’s a trigger in the human psyche, a coded response that activates our first and greatest survival skill when we sense the raptors approaching.” – Born to Run.
It is reasonable to think that we are currently in the midst of this country’s fourth running boom due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus. So, now is the perfect opportunity to speak on one of the more common symptoms with running: the dreaded side stitch.
It is a runner’s worst nightmare! You have spent weeks and months training for the big race that has been circled on the calendar, then disaster strikes and the race is canceled. A few years ago, this would mean hanging up the running shoes or finding a different race down the road. Luckily, in this day and age due to the coronavirus pandemic, runners have a wonderful new option in the form of virtual races.
You’re out running on your favorite trail, and so far, everything about your run is perfect. But then, you feel an unusual burn in your heel. Or a discomforting pull of your hamstrings just behind your knee. You might even misstep and roll an ankle. Running, like any other sport, has its fair share of injuries associated with it.
As Chicagoland’s leading provider of physical and occupational therapy, we are a group of passionate individuals who believe in the power of movement. To encourage health and wellness and to give back the communities who need us the most right now, we launched the Athletico Cares Virtual 5K Challenge.