List of tips

  • Recuperation

     If a runner requires more than three days to recover from his last training, it is a sign that it was too hard.

  • Immune System

    After a hard training, a runner should refrain from going to enclosed areas where he is in contact with others because his immune system will be more vulnerable for a short period. He is susceptible to infections, such as the cold virus, for 2 to 6 hours following your training.

  • Training frequency

    To prevent injuries, it is preferable to run more often, but less each time (more than 4 times per week with a maximum of one day of rest between each run) rather than run 2 or 3 times per week, for longer periods.

  • Running in snowshoes, why not?

    This more and more popular sport in northern countries is an excellent way to vary your training. The increase of cardiovascular demand by the additional weight on your feet, the proprioceptive work induced by the variety of surfaces and the global muscular work are good reasons for you to try it out. Attention! Be progressive!

  • Hyponatremia

    Hyponatremia (which is actually intoxication to water) is characterized by signs and symptoms such as faintness, confusion, fatigue and nausea, which may lead to a coma and, in rare cases, to death. The main cause is over-consumption of water. During a long training period (more than 2 hours of intense activity), it is necessary to avoid gaining weight by consuming a maximum of 500 to 800ml of liquid per hour (ideally isotonic like Gatorade).

     

  • Heat stroke

    During a long run, mainly in hot and humid weather, measure your effort! A heat stroke is characterized by a change of state (confusion, convulsion, stupor, coma) and a body temperature of more than 41°C. The emergency treatment is simple. You must quickly lower your temperature to less than 38°C (take a 3- to 6-minute ice bath or go into the shade) and start the hydration process.

  • Warm-up

    To get ready for speed training, you must prepare your body for the training requirements in the following areas: biomechanics (amplitude of movement), neurophysiology (motor skills coordination) and physiology (energy system). You must increase your body temperature with a progressive jog for 15 to 25 minutes. You can continue with progressive functional ballistic stretching related to a neurophysiological warm-up by: (1) drills: high knees, heels to buttocks, etc. and (2) sport-specific gestures or progressive accelerations (strides).

  • Running shoes

    Need a new pair of running shoes? Select a simple, low and close-to-the-ground shoe in order to have a good feeling of the surface. The perfect shoe should only protect the skin from lacerations and the cold, while minimizing "the interface" between the foot and the ground (the majority of technologies of stability and absorption are superfluous and without scientific basis). If a runner already has a pair of absorbent and heavy shoes, he should be directed towards a pair of less absorbent and superior ones in three progressive stages: training shoes, light trainer shoes and racer shoes.

  • Cross-training

    If you cross train (transfer to another activity) to complement your running training, it is preferable not to exceed 35% of the volume. This helps to prevent interfering with the gesture specificity of running (from a performance point of view, obviously).

  • Injuries

    50% of runners are injured each year. Why? They do too much, too quickly, sometimes with a bad pair of shoes.

  • Health professional

    A running specialist in injury prevention should, in a global evaluation, include an analysis of your running pattern, shoes and biomechanics (flexibility, force, etc.), in addition to giving basic preventive advice (training preparation, progression and planning).

  • It's winter, beware of the surface change!

    The new snowy surface will bring biomechanics change, be progressive! Cutting your training volume by 2 for the first snowfalls and take 2 to 3 weeks to come back to your regular volume will be wise.

  • 180 steps per minute

    If a runner wants to prevent injuries and to become more effective, he should be doing more than 170 steps per minute, ideally 180, even when jogging more slowly.

  • It's cold and it's snowing, go outside and enjoy!

    Landing on flattened irregular snow is an excellent stimulus for everything that touches proprioception and stimulation of stabilizer muscles. For those who are steping out from the off season, it's the right moment to smoothly integrate most minimalistic shoes with trail crampons and a lighter and more efficient running gait. The slippery snow will automatically get you to run with smaller strides to avoid slippering and the irregular nature of the snow will allow you to gently go from heel striking to midfoot striking.

  • It's winter time, train in volume!

    During the cold season, it would be important to privilege volume rather than speed training because cold and intense efforts seem incompatible on certains points: warming up is ore laborious and substantially increases the risk of pulled muscles, tendinitis and articular pain while cold air gasping could irritate or burn your airways.

  • Foot's biomecanics

    While running, the contact of the foot on the ground should be made below the hips rather than ahead of them. The foot must land flat on the ground and not heel first. The noise produced by the runner’s steps should be minimal.

  • Running surfaces

    Flat surfaces (road, track, treadmill) cause regularity on each race tread which, in turn, causes a repetition of biomechanical imperfections. The best running surface is the cross-country one. This type of surface, firm and irregular, allows a large variety of adaptive movements of the lower limbs and thus decreases the risk of injuries.

  • External change

    If an external change occurs (change of temperature, snow on the ground, new surface, more hills, interior race, etc.) one should decrease the anticipated volume of training by 25 to 50%, allowing time to adapt to these new conditions.

  • Women and running

    A female runner that has less frequent menstruation should consult a doctor. She should make sure to keep a good appetite, to eat sufficient quantities of food and to decrease by 20% her training volume.

  • Overweight

    Being overweight does not expose a runner to higher chances of being injured as long as he is progressive.

  • Osteoarthritis

    Many studies have shown that runners do not have more osteoarthritis in their knees than non-runners. Running would even have a protective role since runners’ patella cartilage is 3 times thicker than their fellow sedentary.

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella femoro-tibial syndrome is characterized by pain around the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs or slopes. Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching of the ilio-tibial band as well as exercises to strengthen the quadriceps are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain for more than 3 days

    When pain related to training persists over 3 days, it is advisable to consult a professional who specializes in sports injuries. This professional will be able to decide on a diagnosis, to structure a treatment plan and seek the cause of the problem. It is important to be cautious in the “medicalisation” and the complexity of a simple condition. Avoid repeated treatments without evolution. Avoid proposed surgery for injuries from overuse (without trauma).

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain below the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs, hills or speed. Be progressive! Eccentric strengthening of the quadriceps is the most important exercises for this type of problem. Some interventions such as a brace, a taping or shock wave therapy can be interesting, while others such as the infiltration of cortisone are absolutely to be avoided.

  • Lateral knee pain

    The ilio-tibial band syndrome is characterized by pain on the external side of the knee. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week). Be progressive! Stretching the IT-band and exercises to strengthen the hip muscles are often interventions taught for this type of problem.

  • Achilles tendon pain

    The Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain appearing upon palpation of the Achilles tendon. The main cause of this tendinopathy is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are most commonly taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the leg

    The shin-splint or tibia stress fracture is characterized by pain in front or on the inside of the leg. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the pelvic area

    Lumbar, sacro-iliac or hip problems are characterized by pain in the back, the buttocks or the hip. The main cause of this type of problem is a rapid increase in the volume, intensity or going down hills. Be progressive! Several exercises and deep strengthening control of the trunk and some proprioception exercises on the Swiss ball help to heal this kind of problem.

  • Pain under the front of the foot

    A metatarsalgia is characterized by pain in front of the arch of the foot, just before the toes. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! A metatarsal support and some exercises for strengthening the muscles of the foot are interventions that are frequently used for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the heel

    The fat pad syndrome is characterized by pain in the center of the heel. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles run per week) associated with a poor running technique! Some specific tapings associated with low heel shoes are frequently used for this type of problem.

  • Pain under the foot

    The plantar fasciapathy (fasciitis) is characterized by pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Stretching the plantar fascia, certain tapings and some exercises for strengthening muscles of the foot are frequently taught interventions for this type of problem.

  • Modern illness

    Obesity, type II diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, certain cancers, and osteoporosis represent more than 70% of all sicknesses … and all of them can be highly reduced with physical activity.

  • Pain on the foot

    A metatarsus stress fracture (bones of the foot) is characterized by pain at the top of the foot. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! A metatarsal support, some tapings, but above all a little rest are interventions frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • The body adapts

    Remember that your body adapts well as long as the stress you are putting on it is not larger than it’s capacity of adaptation. The majority of overuse injuries come from an overload on the anatomical structures (bones, cartilages, tendons, muscles). Each new stimulus must be integrated progressively (quantity of trainings, shoe or surface change, etc).

  • Pain

    Pain is the first sign telling a runner that his anatomical structures are tired. One must respect it. The runner must reduce his everyday activities (including training) by resting for 2 days before progressively going back to training without pain. If pain persists, the runner should consult a specialized health practitioner.

  • Overtraining

    A runner will know that yesterday’s training was a little too difficult and that he has not yet recuperated, if the next morning his rest heart rate is 6-10 beats higher than his normal one (average of the previous mornings). In that case, a runner should take the day off and rest!

  • The body has limits

    A runner knows that he has exceeded his own capacity to adapt when he feels pain during or after training, if he sees swelling or feels stiffness in the morning. That is a dangerous zone, which exposes his body to injuries … so he must be careful and listen to his body.

  • Health in running

    Some studies have shown that physical activity decreases the incidence of Alzheimer by 50%, of colon cancer by 60% and the risk of death (in general) by 63% so… Be perseverant and keep it up!

  • Running shoes

    It is highly recommended to gradually change your running shoes when they become an exacerbation factor of a biomechanical vice (deformation or wear of the sole). Transferring from an old to a new shoe must be done progressively. First of all, one should walk with his new shoes in the house for two days to break them in. Then, should integrate them slowly (two small trainings the first week, three trainings the second week, four trainings the third week, etc).

  • Cross-training

    When injured, complete rest is rarely the best therapy. In aiming to keep up his athletic qualities and to accelerate the healing process (good vascularization of his injured structures) it is suggested the runner finds an activity to stay fit. That activity (biking, aqua-jogging, swimming, etc) will work his heart without worsening his injury. In other words, painless cardio.

  • Sleep

    One’s diurnal sleep quantity is a good physiological stress indicator. In other words, if a runner exercises more, he can take little naps.

  • Overtraining

    A runner who increases his training sessions and feels symptoms such as: decrease in performance, frequent infections, general fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, low libido, headaches, sleep disturbances, persistent pain … may be overtraining. Vigilance is required. A few days of rest will help one recover. If it lasts, he should consult a physician.

  • Medical staff

    Support for a runner, may it be for a high level one or not, must be done by a competent, specialized and comprehensive professional. For that reason he should never accept final recommendations coming from non runner professionals (physio, chiro, doctor, etc).

  • Emergency care

    If an important and sudden pain appears (sprain, pulled muscle, muscle contusion, etc), a runner must quickly apply ice for 15 minutes on the injured region, immobilise it with an elastic binding, relieve the member by using crutches and consult a specialized physician, who will be able to evaluate the injury and advise you for the rest of the treatment.

  • Foot orthoses

    Plantar orthoses as the first option is not specified in the majority of a runner’s injuries. They may be necessary when dealing with a major pathology, which is not easily corrected with an exercise program. The professional that will help a runner make the proper choice must be a specialist, must be conscious of the specific requirements in running and must work with a group of specialists.

  • Quality of sleep

    Regular physical activity will help the quality of your sleep. On the other hand, doing an intense activity before going to bed will keep you from sleeping.

  • Anti-inflammatory pills

    Anti-inflammatory pills inhibit le natural healing process and consequently make your tissues more fragile. Avoid using “Advil, Motrin and Ibuprophen” without a proper recommendation of a health practitioner.

  • Strength training

    Solidifying one’s body is a good way to prevent injuries from happening to an athlete. A stabilisation, reinforcement and specific proprioception program may be done directly at home.

  • Athlete's nutrition

    The food that you eat is the main component of your body (protein builds our muscles, calcium our bones; vitamin C contributes to the fabrication of our tendons and ligaments). In addition, it is in nutrition that a runner gets the necessary energy to run, to help recuperate from hard trainings and also to help the regeneration process. Quality, variety and balance are the watchwords when you talk about athletic nutrition.

  • Hypoglycaemia

    Hypoglycaemia brings specific signs and symptoms such as lack of coordination, weakness, and a change in your mental state (confusion, convulsion, state of unconsciousness, coma). If a runner finishes a big training and presents any of these signs or symptoms, he must quickly drink glucose based liquids (6 to 10%) like apple juice.

     

  • Positive attitude

    A healthy spirit in a healthy body; or, a healthy body for a healthy spirit. Pleasure, positive attitude, good lifestyle habits directly influence your body and injuries through complex physiological systems (hormones, nervous system, etc.).

  • Stretching

    Generally, it is not recommended to stretch before a workout especially if it is a speed workout. Some studies have even shown that the risk of injury is higher if stretching is done right before training.

  • Risk of injury

    Besides high level athletes, people who practice running and this activity alone are more often injured than others that combine more than one sport. By having a variety of activities in your active lifestyle you may lower your chances of getting hurt.

  • Fractioned trainings

    By fractioning your trainings (e.g.: include minutes of walking during your jogging) you maximise the physiological stress (your heart) and you minimise the stress on your bones, tendons and cartilages, which in turn, helps you lower your risk of injuries.

  • Flexibility

    For certain runners, flexibility remains a good way to prevent injuries. After being evaluated by a qualified professional, it is possible to standardize your muscular retractions by having a personalized program. The runner will then have to practise static, slow and progressive stretching exercises, at night on a daily basis, by maintaining the position 30 seconds, 1 to 5 repetitions by retracted muscular group.

  • Post-training recuperation

    For certain runners, a massage helps to recover from difficult trainings, while others prefer ice baths (immersion to the waist in a bath of 5°C or less, for 4 to 10 minutes). On the other hand, all runners should progressively cool down and eat well quickly after training.

  • Bare foot

    To run bare feet on safe surfaces after trainings (be progressive) and as often as possible to walk bare feet in the house are a good means to solidify the support structures (muscles of the foot) responsible for natural absorption of the shocks... and thus preventing considerable injuries.

  • Times for training

    For high quality trainings, some times during the day are better (9:00 to 12:00 and 4:00 to 8:00).

  • Flat feet and injuries

    There is generally no link between anthropometry (flat or hollow feet, shorter leg, etc) and injuries, as long as one is adapted. Think twice before trying to correct them!

  • Recovery between two trainings

    If a runner plans on doing two trainings on the same day, it is highly recommended to leave a 5 to 6 hour recovery period between both.

  • Speed workout

    In order to prevent injuries, strength and speed workouts should be done when a runner is well rested.

  • Active recuperation

    After a training that produced lactic acid, one should privilege an active recovery (slow jog or walk) rather then a passive one (rest).