How to Prevent Runner’s Injuries: Exercises and A Fresh New Look

cool impossibleI am happy to announce that I am running again and pain-free!  I am absolutely fed up with injuries.  This new program is nothing short of a miracle.  I have struggled with running injuries ever since I was 14 years old which means I have 27 years of experience.  And I’m also a physician which means that despite my medical training, I have been unable to stay healthy.  Last winter I vowed it would not happen again and signed up for the Portland marathon and began a very conservative marathon program that included a combination of running and walking.  And once again as I got up to my 10 mile run, I became injured again.  I was unable to run in the marathon and I spent most of the fall in physical therapy with little relief from my knee pain.  Why does this keep happening to most runners?  And what is new in the field of injury prevention?

In January I was complaining to a friend at work and she told me to check out a book by a running coach, Eric Orton.  I recently read his book The Cool Impossible and have begun his training program and I give it five stars.  This book was recently popularized by another great book about running, Born To Run by Christopher McDougal.  Born to Run provided the paradigm shift and The Cool Impossible provides the method.

In just a few weeks with the new program, my knee pain was gone.  I did not even achieve that with 3 months of physical therapy. The book is a bit unconventional in that you are instructed to completely change your running form and wear very thin “zero drop” shoes.  Before you run out and buy new running shoes, read the whole book and take it very slow.  There have been numerous injuries where people got so excited about ditching their shoes after reading Born to Run.  There is a well defined transition program where you learn the new style of running and allow your legs to get strong before you can even start the main training program.  The transition phase is supposed to take 4-6 weeks but I’m still in the transition phase at 9 weeks because I do not want to get injured again.  So here is a look at my progress.

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Only time will tell if this new strategy will work for me.  I definitely feel more optimistic this time.  But could I actualy run a marathon or even an ultra-marathon?  Not so sure about that.  Check back in a few weeks to see my progress.


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