Try these seven exercises and start building a foundation of injury prevention.
A common complaint among masters runners is that injury-prevention routines take too much time. After family, career and social obligations are accounted for, there’s barely room to squeeze in running itself. These same runners often complain again when they discover that injury-prevention routines won’t double as injury-reversal routines for their newly diagnosed plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinosis, IT band syndrome or other running-related malady.
Studies confirm that up to 80 percent of runners get injured in a given year. Masters runners would probably argue that the figure sounds a little low. There are many theories for running’s alarming injury rate—running too hard, too far, in bad shoes, in no shoes, with too long a stride, etc.—but Ross Tucker, PhD, co-author of the The Science of Sport, perhaps put it best: “I cannot stress enough that the reason for injury is training.”
As a Masters runner and coach, I can confidently add that “training while older” increases the risk even more. In 2010, my Masters club, Compex Racing, won the Masters national cross-country championship. The very next year, all eight members of that squad were sidelined by injuries—from Achilles tendinosis to piriformis syndrome to bursitis to osteoarthritis. Given those odds, who but a physical therapist in hawk to a loan shark would begrudge the 10-15 minutes, two to three times a week, that it takes to perform an injury-prevention routine?
The good news is that my clubmates healed and lived to run again—and to win more national championships. The better news is that the following seven exercises can serve as the foundation for your own injury-prevention routine. [Photos below by Diana Hernandez]
About The Author:
Pete Magill is the fastest-ever American age 50+ at 5K (15:01) and 10K (31:11), the 2013 USA Masters Cross Country Runner of the Year, and the author of Build Your Running Body (The Experiment, 2014). Learn more about Pete at his website, PeteMagill.com.