Running for fitness or competition might appear like a straightforward exercise, however up to half of all runners can get some kind of injury each year. That injury might be relatively minor and they run through it until it gets better or it may be significant enough for them to have to cease running. The most common cause of these running injuries is that the runner just over did it. They ran too much before the body has been given time to adapt or get used to the distances being run. Every time that a load is applied to the runner it is essential to give it a rest before applying another load by going for another run. If too much load is applied before recuperation from a earlier training session, any damage get exacerbated and this might progress into an injury. Rest is just as important as the training runs and that is how fitness and strength is increased and is also how an injury is avoided.
In addition to the too much too soon situation, biomechanics also plays a role. This is the way that we run and different athletes do it differently. Different running techniques will load different tissues in a different way and affect some tissues too much, so that when running that may be enough to result in a running injury. For example, disorders like medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) can hapen when the runner has a narrower base of gait meaning that the width between the foot placement on the ground when running is too narrow or too close to each other. Runners with this condition could benefit from running with a wider base of gait. Another frequent biomechanical problem in runners can be tight calf muscles. When running this causes the mid-foot (arch area) of the foot to collapse or overpronate and can result in a a range of conditions such as heel pain to runners knee. These people will benefit the most from a calf muscle stretching rehab plan. The management of running injuries, especially medial tibial stress syndrome, will depend on the cause and should be directed at the cause, whether its biomechanics to training load problems.