Race season is upon us and it’s important for runners to vary their programs to maintain strength and reduce the likelihood of injury. Here are a few easy tips that any runner can implement regardless of their level of experience:
1. Vary your terrain: Many of the injuries runners encounter in their training are overuse injuries due to the repetitive nature of their movement. Varying your terrain by running hills, switching from concrete to asphalt, or running trails and uneven surfaces can reduce the repetitiveness of your runs, strengthen your stride, and help to avoid injury.
2. Vary your tempo/cadence: Running at the same pace every day contributes to the repetitiveness mentioned above. Similar to varying your terrain, working tempo runs or intervals into your weekly program not only helps with improving strength and speed, but also changes your stride enough to help avoid overuse injuries. Instead of running the same distance at the same pace every day, try mixing in a shorter, faster run in to your weekly plan.
3. Vary your footwear: Our feet hit the ground countless times over a training cycle and we often take for granted the wear and tear they experience. As we break-in (and break-down) our shoes, our feet tend to experience pressure in the same areas over and over. This can lead to pain and injury. Having a couple different shoe options (with differing cushion, tread, or wear patterns) varies the pressures your feet experience, and can, again, help to avoid pain or injury.
If you have any questions about implementing these tips, or any other training questions, feel free to reach out to me or the rest of the PFC team. Now get out there and enjoy this fall weather while it lasts!