What really works to prevent running injury?

Glen Robbins, clinic director of Hemel Physio, shares his training tips.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 3:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 4:23 pm
Strength training helps reduce running injuries

Runners are prone to injury, but is it possible to reduce your injury risk, and what really works?


Stretching is a contentious issue and an approach that has been investigated time and time again to try and establish a link between regular stretching and a reduction in injury rate. Unfortunately, time and time again that link has never been found. It is safe to say that static stretching before a run will not reduce your injury risk, and it may even impair your performance by reducing your muscles’ maximal force output.

Ballistic stretching may have a role as a pre-run warm-up but has not been proven to reduce your injury risk either.

I am not saying don’t stretch, I am saying be clear that stretching is not the most effective way to safeguard against injury.

Strength and conditioning

Incorporating a well-planned strength training routine into your programme is by far and away one of the most useful things you can do as a runner to reduce your injury risk.

A review by Lauerson et al (2013) studied different exercise interventions and their effect on reducing sports injuries on a sample of 26,610 athletes and found strength training was the clear winner.

The addition of strength training into a training programme reduced an athlete’s injury risk by 50 per cent!

That is huge and requires only two sessions a week to be effective.

We will share more of Glen’s training tips for runners next week.

See www.hemelphysio.co.uk