Runners, such a selection!? What’s best?
What runners will I buy to reduce injury risk? A question I am frequently asked by patients.
In short, the legs are more important than the runners! Putting time and money into buying a great pair of runners is wasted if you haven’t optimised your running technique. Consider lowering your injury risk from the inside out. Keep in mind that pronation is normal. There is no evidence that over pronation causes injury, but the rate at which you pronate may be important.
There are many different ways to run but there are simple cues that can help you reduce overload and minimise injury. Many of these cues are general, but an experienced Sports Physiotherapist with a special interest in movement efficiency in runners will try to find more subtle training cues that are individual to you.
What can you do at home? Runners need as much symmetry across their body as possible. If you notice you have a tighter calf or a weaker hip flexor on one side try doing some exercises to stretch or strengthen this area. Better still, see a specialist Physiotherapist who will work with you to identify why that asymmetry is present and treat the root cause. A strengthening program is a valuable addition to your training program. Strengthening appropriate areas will help you to hold good technique when fatigued, increase force production and improve muscle economy.
After all that, I did advise the patient who simply needed a new pair of runners to go for a neutral support structure and last season’s stock (they’re usually much cheaper!).
Orla Crosse. Chartered Physiotherapist
Clonmel and Limerick