List of tips

  • Recovery

     If a runner requires more than three days to recover from their last training, it was likely too hard.

  • Immune System

    After a hard training session, a runner’s immune system may temporarily be more vulnerable. They may be more susceptible to infections, such as the cold virus, for 2 to 6 hours following the training.

  • Training frequency

    To prevent injuries, it is preferable to run more frequently, but for shorter durations (4+ times per week with a maximum of one rest day between each run) rather than longer runs 2-3 times per week.

  • Snowshoe Running

    This increasingly popular sport in northern countries is an excellent way to vary your training. The additional weight on your feet, proprioceptive training and use of different muscle groups make it a great workout to try!  As always, start slow and progress gradually to prevent injuries.

  • Hyponatremia

    Hyponatremia (low blood sodium) is characterized by signs and symptoms such as fainting, confusion, fatigue and nausea, which may lead to a coma and in rare cases, death. Exercise-induced hyponatremia is mainly caused by over-drinking water. Even during long training sessions, the latest guidelines recommend to drink when thirsty, not necessarily to drink before being thirsty!

  • Heat stroke

    During long runs, especially in hot and humid weather, monitor your symptoms! A heat stroke is characterized by a change of state (confusion, convulsion, stupor, coma) and a body temperature of more than 41°C. If this happens, quickly lower your temperature to less than 38°C (take a 3- to 6-minute ice bath or go into the shade) and hydrate with cold drinks.

  • Warm-up

    To warm-up, start your training session with a progressive jog for 15 to 25 minutes. You can include dynamic exercises such as high knees, heels to buttocks, and short accelerations (strides).

  • Running shoes

    Need a new pair of running shoes? Select a thinner shoe that will allow you to feel the ground. 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 unnecessary and not based on scientific evidence). Runners used to cushioned shoes could consider gradually transitioning to more minimalist shoes if they want to improve performance. Read the Footwear section of the website for more information on safe transition!

  • Cross-training

    If you cross train to complement your running, try not to do this more than 35% of your weekly volume. This helps maintain the movement specificity of running, especially if running performance is your goal!

  • Injuries

    50% of runners are injured each year. Why? They do too much, too soon.

  • Medical staff

    Recreational and competitive runners should be surrounded by healthcare professionals with an expertise in running. Ideally, the healthcare professional is also a runner!

  • During winter, beware of surface changes!

    Snowy surfaces will cause you to change your biomechanics when you run, so it is important to be gradual! You might want to consider cutting your training volume in 1/2 when it first snows and take 2 to 3 weeks to come back to your regular volume.

  • 180 steps per minute

    If a runner wants to prevent injuries and become more efficient, they should consider taking between 170-190 steps per minute, regardless of speed.

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

    During the cold season, it is important to focus on slowly progressing your training volume rather than speed training. In the cold, warming up takes longer and you may be more at risk for muscles strains and joint pain. Additionally, your airways may need extra time to adapt to the cold air!

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

    Running on a flattened, irregular snowy surface is an excellent way to train your proprioception and stabilizer muscles. For those who are stepping out during the running off season, you might want to consider wearing crampons with your trail shoes. The snow will automatically get you to run with smaller strides to avoid slipping and its irregular nature will make you land with a flatter foot.

  • Running biomechanics

    While running, try not to “overstride” or land with your foot far in front of your hips. Try to also “run quietly,” to minimize forces/impact through your joints.

    .

  • Running surfaces

    Flat surfaces (road, track, treadmill) cause repeated stresses on your body. The best running surface is the cross-country type: firm and irregular, it allows for a large variety in adaptive movements which can thus decrease the risk of injuries.

  • External changes

    Any new condition requires changes in training to allow for adaptation. Changes could be a new surface to run on, more uphills, more downhills, indoor track, etc. Consider reducing your training by 25-50% at first, then increase as tolerated.

  • Running and women's health

    A female runner that has an irregular cycle/missed period should consult a doctor. She should make sure to eat enough nutritious food and might want to consider decreasing her training volume to allow her body to recover.

  • Bodyweight and injuries

    Being overweight does not expose a runner to a greater risk of injury as long as they progress gradually.

  • Osteoarthritis

    Many studies have shown that runners do not have more knee or hip osteoarthritis than non-runners. In fact, recreational runners seem to have 3x less risk of developing osteoarthritis than non-runners! 

  • Kneecap pain

    Patellofemoral pain is characterized by pain around or behind the kneecap. The main cause is a rapid increase in training volume (duration or mileage). Be gradual with your training! Load management, strengthening exercises for hips and quadriceps, and taping can help manage the condition.

  • Lasting pain

    When pain related to training persists over 3 days, it is advisable to consult a professional with an expertise in sports injuries. This professional will be able to determine the diagnosis and to structure a treatment plan based on the cause of the problem.

  • Anterior knee pain

    Patellar tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain below the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in training volume (duration or mileage) associated with too many stairs, hills or speed. Be gradual with your training! Quadriceps strengthening helps to make the tendon stronger. Cortisone injections should absolutely be avoided.

  • Lateral knee pain

    Ilio-tibial (IT) band syndrome is characterized by pain on the external side of the knee. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in training volume (duration or mileage). Be gradual with your training! Strengthening the hip muscles and load management are key in treating this condition. Avoid running in straight lines or downhill, reduce your volume, and choose flat trail running.

  • Achilles tendon pain

    Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain in the Achilles tendon. The main cause of this injury is a rapid increase in training intensity (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be gradual with your training! Calf strengthening exercises help make the tendon stronger

  • Shin splints

    Shin splints and tibial stress fracture are characterized by pain in front or on the inside of the shin. The main cause of these injuries is a rapid increase in training intensity (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be gradual with your training! Load management and leg strengthening are key for managing this condition.

  • 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 these issues is a rapid increase in training volume, intensity or going down hills. Be gradual with your training! Strengthening the trunk muscles can help manage these conditions.

  • Pain under the ball of the foot

    Metatarsalgia is characterized by pain under the ball of the foot. The main cause of this injury is a rapid increase in training volume or intensity (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be gradual with your training! Metatarsal pads and extra cushioning can provide relief in the short term. Foot strengthening exercises are helpful in the long term.

  • Heel pain

    Fat pad syndrome is characterized by pain in the center of the heel. The main cause of this injury is a rapid increase in training volume (duration or mileage), mainly in heel strikers. In the short term, taping and extra cushioning can provide relief. Load management, gradual return to running and sometimes changes in running technique are advised for long term management.

  • Foot arch pain

    Plantar fasciopathy (fasciitis) is characterized by pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The main cause is a rapid increase in training intensity (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be gradual with your training! Arch support and taping can provide relief in the short term. Foot/calf strengthening exercises are helpful in the long term.

  • Physical activity and health

    Regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and osteoporosis … and running is a great way to stay active!

  • Foot pain

    A metatarsal stress fracture is characterized by pain on top of the foot. The main cause is a rapid increase in training intensity (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be gradual with your training! Load management (a little rest can really help!), metatarsal support, extra cushioning and taping are recommended to manage this condition.

  • The body adapts!

    Remember that your body adapts as long as the applied stress is not greater than the body’s capacity to adapt. The majority of overuse injuries come from an overload on structures (bones, cartilages, tendons, muscles). Each new change in training must be integrated gradually (number of training sessions, new pair of shoes, different terrains, etc).

  • Pain

    Pain is the first signal that your body is tired and overdoing it. Listen to your body - reduce your activity and rest (usually 2 days is enough) before gradually going back to training pain free. If pain persists, the runner should consult a health practitioner.

  • Overtraining

    If the morning after a hard training session your resting heart rate is 6-10 beats higher than your normal average, this might be a sign that you haven’t recovered yet from yesterday’s session. If this happens, don’t feel guilty about taking an active recovery session or the day off to rest!

  • Know your limits

    You may have exceeded your body’s capacity to adapt if you feel pain during or after training, if you see swelling, or feel stiffness in the morning. Pushing through when your body is in this condition can expose you to a higher risk of injuries … listen to your body!

  • Health benefits of 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%! Be persistent and keep running!

  • Transitioning between running shoes

    It is recommended to gradually change your running shoes when they become worn out. However, transitioning from an old to a new pair of shoes must be done very gradually! You might want to start with walking with your new shoes in the house for 1-2 days to break them in. Slowly integrate the new pair of shoes into your training (e.g. two short sessions the first week, three in the second week, four in the third week, etc).

  • Cross-training while injured

    For most overuse running injuries, resting your body completely may not be the best idea. To maintain your physical fitness and to facilitate the healing process (increased blood flow, etc.), it is recommended to find an alternate cross-training activity. For example, biking, aqua-jogging or swimming can help maintain your cardiovascular fitness without aggravating your injury. 

  • Sleep

    Sleep is important for recovery and adaptation. Don’t underestimate the power of naps or getting enough hours of sleep per night!

  • Overtraining symptoms

    If you are a runner who has increased their training volume who is feeling symptoms such as: decreased performance, frequent infections, general fatigue, loss of weight and appetite, low libido, headaches, sleep disturbances, persistent pain … you may be overtraining. A few days of rest should help you recover, but if these symptoms persist, you should consult a physician.

  • Emergency care

    If an intense and sudden pain appears (sprain, pulled muscle, muscle contusion, etc.), a runner should start the PEACE (Protect, Elevate, Avoid inflammatories, Compress, Educate) of the PEACE & LOVE protocol and consult a healthcare practitioner, who will be able to evaluate the injury and advise you for the rest of the treatment. Read our blog post on PEACE & LOVE, that was also published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

  • Foot orthotics

    Orthotics may be necessary in the short term when dealing with a foot injury. According to the latest research, custom-made orthotics and over the counter are as effective in reducing pain.  However, customization can be helpful for certain conditions. 

  • Sleep quality

    Regular physical activity can help improve the quality of your sleep. On the other hand, exercising at high intensities before going to bed may cause difficulties falling asleep!

  • Strength training

    Strength training is a great way to prevent injuries and improve performance. Physical activity guidelines suggest that strength training at least twice per week is beneficial for health… and improved running times!

  • Sports nutrition

    The food that you eat is your body’s fuel - proteins build muscles, calcium is important for bone health, etc. Eating nutritious foods will not only ensure you have enough energy to run, but it can help aid recovery too. Consult a registered sports dietician/nutritionist for a personalized nutrition plan.

  • Hypoglycaemia

    Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) causes specific signs and symptoms such as lack of coordination, weakness, and a change in mental state (confusion, convulsion, state of unconsciousness, coma). If a runner finishing a race or training session presents with any of these signs or symptoms, they should quickly drink a liquid high in sugar (e.g. apple juice) and seek medical assistance.

     

     

  • Positive attitude

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

  • Stretching

    Generally, it is not recommended to perform static stretches (holding stretches for 30+ seconds) before a workout especially if it is a speed workout. Some studies have even shown that the risk of injury is higher if static stretching is done right before training.

  • Injury risk

    Recreational runners who only run may get injured more often than those who combine running with different sports/physical activities. Performing a variety of physical activities may help reduce overuse injuries by varying the types and amount of stresses on different parts of your body.

  • Interval training

    Interval training (e.g.: alternating minutes of walking and running/jogging) may help you maximize cardiovascular gains while minimizing stress on your bones, tendons and cartilages.

  • Post-training recovery

    Different methods can be used to aid recovery after training. Whether you prefer a massage, ice bath, or light activity (bike ride or swim), remember to end with a cool down (lighter intensity) and eat well after training.

  • Barefoot running

    Running barefoot naturally promotes lower impact and is a good way to strengthen your foot muscles. Consider starting with a few minutes once or twice per week on a safe surface. As with any change in your program, it is important to progress gradually and listen to your body. Walking with bare feet at home can also help with foot strengthening.

  • Training times

    Some circadian rhythm research suggests that training during the day (9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM) may maximize performance. 

  • Flat feet and injuries

    There is generally no link betweenflat feet and injuries. Think twice before trying to “fix” your flat feet!

  • Two-a-day training sessions

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

     

  • Active recovery

    After an intense training session, one should perform active recovery (slow jog or walk) rather then resting passively.

  • Speed workout

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