Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • March 2014
Written by  Cassie Kottke, BA, ACSM

Simple steps to prevent running injuries before they start

Spring is around the corner, which means many of us will be lacing up our running shoes and increasing our running miles to train for an upcoming race or to get healthy and take in some fresh air. Unfortunately, this sudden increase in training load can leave many runners injured very early in the season. These simple steps will help prevent injuries before they begin.

Increase your miles slowly. One of the biggest mistakes runners make when the weather warms is to increase their mileage too quickly. Use the rule of 10 percent, meaning increase your weekly running miles by only 10 percent each week. This may not sound like much for the motivated athlete, but in the end it is a sure way to allow your bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons to adjust to the loads of increased mileage.

Don’t run two days in a row. If you are newer to running or have not been running much over the winter, consider taking a day of cross-training or strength training between your running days.

Check in with your cadence. Ideal running cadence is between 80 and 90 beats per minute, meaning that your right leg will land that many times in one minute. On your next run count your cadence. If it is below 85 you are over-striding. Over-striding will cause your foot to land in front of your body resulting in a heel strike. A heel strike automatically increases the impact that your foot makes with the ground. A higher cadence will allow you to focus on landing mid-foot, reducing the ground force impact. Just remember that when you do increase your cadence, you need to take smaller strides, not just quicker strides!

Listen to your body. The number one rule when it comes to exercise is to listen to your body. If your body hurts, something is wrong, and contrary to popular belief, running should not hurt. Pain after a run might signal an issue with your running form, improper training or footwear, or it is just your body telling you it needs a day off. Just because you take a day off from running does not mean you need to take a day off from exercise all together. If your body is craving exercise, consider an alternative form of cardiovascular exercise, a strength training session or yoga class. In the end, the cross-training will make you a better runner.

Happy training! 


Cassie Kottke, BA, ACSM, is a personal trainer, endurance coach and certified ChiRunning instructor at Stride MultiSport, located at 3939 W. College Ave. in Appleton. Stride MultiSport offers endurance sports coaching, ChiRunning instruction, group classes, nutrition counseling and personal training in your home or at the studio. New clients receive 50 percent off their first private session. For more information, call 920-428-4255, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit


Subscribe Today
Community Partners Directory
Find a Complimentary Copy
Community Calendar