Today’s content is a must-read.  (If not, well, there’s still value in the principles)

For me, running is a passion (I sadly can’t remember if I’ve spoken about this passion of mine).  I’m an accomplished half-marathoner at my peak and the main intent of my recent fitness “reboot” has been to go for more runs.  I love the ease of just stepping out the door, it’s literally a no-brainer so long as I’m dressed properly.

One caveat: running can be a negative stress on your body as well as all of the positive benefits it procures.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are my three biggest running mistakes:

  1. Too much, too soon. I’m not naming any names but this is even truer for a certain segment of the population. Let’s just call them “men”.  Seriously though, running’s tough (and so is starting back, even if you’re an experienced runner).

It requires a step-by-step program if you’re going to get better and do it safely.

Slow down to go fast.  Use intervals of running and walking and watch your breathing rate – if you can’t talk to someone while running, the pace may be too much for you.

  1. Overly aggressive shoe choice. In the past decade, some folks have heard they should switch to flatter shoes – the closer to ‘barefoot’ feel, the better. There is some merit to that idea.  But it depends on your needs.   I’ve personally watched the “shoe wall” at Running Room stores ebb to and from the flatter ‘minimalist’ shoes, almost as a fashion trend.

If you’re used to running with a more supportive shoe, the switch should be made gradually.  Maybe even with an interim shoe.  I can share from personal experience that I did not heed this advice, went straight to lower profile runners, and while months later, wound up with a repetitive strain injury.  Bonus – I was sidelined from running for a few months!

Ouch. Like, semi-depressed ouch.

Let’s call that a “failing forward” experience. I looked more cautiously at my footwear choice and haven’t regressed since (that was 2011).

  1. Poor form and posture. Amidst my busier running days I was fortunate to lead clinics at the Running Room (man they’ve got some great group programs) and bear witness to many different styles of running; I wasn’t impressed by a lot of them. Without getting into details, I wasn’t surprised when particular members of my groups were injured or needed breaks based on what I was observing – I could only help those who were open to it.

**Bonus** 4. Not seeing a practitioner who runs.  A BIG reason many runners won’t seek help for pain is they’re afraid they’ll be told to stop running.  One patient had gone to a physio before who said just that.  I understood that she’d been training for a marathon she still hoped to do, and got her across the finish line no worse for wear.

After the race, we backed off and were able to take care of the problem pretty quickly.

Sometimes it’s wise to stop, but it’s not always the answer.

If you’d like me to take a look at your running gait and ensure as much as I can that you run better, for more years – and without pain – then send me an email and let’s make it happen, or call the clinic at (416) 967-4466.

We’ve helped many runners over the years.

Here’s just one example:

To Pain-Free Running,

Dr. Josh