How to Avoid Injury During Distance Running Training

Risk of injury increases as you take serious change in your distance running training schedule. Change can be either in the number of days of training schedule (doing six or seven days a week of daily regular run) or in some work you do during regular steady runs. A good coach will help you evaluate in detail the factors, past and present, that influence a training program. Each runner has unique physical and mental condition and it is helpful to consider incorporating a training program depending to his or her own mix.

The following principles of training authored by Jack Daniels can serve as basis for a more safe and effective system:

1. Get to know your training needs – Since what works well for one person might not work for another, you should always keep in mind the purpose of the training session and specific needs to achieve that purpose.

2. Set your own pace – Drop the idea of “copy the current champion” approach training instead challenge yourself with training based on scientific principles. However, don’t totally ignore what current champions are doing as they might be supporting an effective training scheme for you although you haven’t yet proven it effective. “When you hear of a new approach to training, don’t try to copy it – try to analyze it,” says Daniels. Know what systems of the body are reaping the benefits, why, and how these happen.

Sometimes, there are runners that to gain recognition from others would give the impression of a more demanding training schedule than what is actually the case. Bear in mind not to follow a particular publicly released athlete’s training regime as this might not be his or her daily followed schedule. It might be that what he or she declared weekly training logs are not a typical week of training but just a particular great week of training. You can’t be sure.

Another risk in replicating accomplishments of a particular runner is not having the same body type to handle such training. “Know your body, identify your strengths and weaknesses, establish priorities, and try to learn more about why you do what you do and why you might consider trying something new in your approach,” wrote Daniels. And the most important thing, stay true to yourself and your abilities. In following a suggested workout, consider details such as current fitness level, experience level, goals, and available time.

The following questions are adapted from Daniels’ set of questions that will help in assessing an athlete’s training needs. In undergoing a distance running training, you must ask yourself the following questions:

1.) What is your current level of fitness? What is your readiness for training and competing?

2.) How much time (in weeks) are you available for a season’s best performance?

3.) How much time (in hours per day) are you available for training?

4.) What are your strengths and weaknesses, in terms of speed, endurance (lactate threshold), aerobic capacity, economy, and reaction to different amounts of running?

5.) What types of training do you prefer? To what types of training do you respond well psychologically?

6.) For what specific event are you preparing?

7.) How should periodic races fit into the training program? That is, what are the race commitments?

8.) What are the environmental conditions of the distance running competition (season of the year), facilities, and opportunities that must be taken into account?