Running is a great way to exercise! Unfortunately, the injury rates for runners is one of the highest among sports – upwards of 80%. Research has linked poor running mechanics to most of these injuries. An important component of running mechanics is the amount of impact occurring through the body, specifically when the foot contacts the ground. Increased impact increases risk of injury and decreases efficiency. Below are a few tips to help reduce the impact on your body when you run.

Three Running Tips Every Runner Should Consider

1. Land close to your body

One way to decrease impact is to land with your foot close to your body. This results in a “tighter” stride which decreases the amount of force the body has to absorb on contact.

2. Cadence

Cadence is the rate of foot turn over. Research has found 180 strikes per minute to be the ideal cadence to maximize running efficiency and decrease risk of injury. This facilitates a tighter stride with less vertical movement of the body (or less bouncy stride). Using a metronome set at 180 beats per minute is an easy way to trial this. Practice on a treadmill or track and then work on maintaining this cadence on your usual running routes.

3. Have appropriate footwear

Make sure you have a shoe that matches your body structure and running mechanics. Over time and with increased mileage, shoes lose their cushioning or shock absorption properties, which can lead to increased impact on the body. The general recommendation is to replace shoes every 300-500 miles or 6 months. The mileage and timeframe will vary based on shoe model and personal

The majority of running related injuries are due to the accumulation of repetitive stress on tissues. The impact of the landing is a key component to consider when trying to decrease the stresses accrued on the body mile after mile.

If you want to learn more about your running mechanics and how to improve your stride check out BODY DYNAMICS RUNNING ASSESSMENT SERVICES.