Tip of the Week

  • The foot’s biomechanics

    While running, the contact of the foot on the ground should be made below the hips rather than ahead of them. The foot must land flat on the ground and not heel first. The noise produced by the runner’s steps should be minimal.

  • Running surfaces

    Flat surfaces (road, track, treadmill) cause regularity on each race tread which, in turn, causes a repetition of biomechanical imperfections. The best running surface is the cross-country one. This type of surface, firm and irregular, allows a large variety of adaptive movements of the lower limbs and thus decreases the risk of injuries.

  • External change

    If an external change occurs (change of temperature, snow on the ground, new surface, more hills, interior race, etc.) one should decrease the anticipated volume of training by 25 to 50%, allowing time to adapt to these new conditions.

  • Women and running

    A female runner that has less frequent menstruation should consult a doctor. She should make sure to keep a good appetite, to eat sufficient quantities of food and to decrease by 20% her training volume.

  • Overweight

    Being overweight does not expose a runner to higher chances of being injured as long as he is progressive.

  • Osteoarthritis

    Many studies have shown that runners do not have more osteoarthritis in their knees than non-runners. Running would even have a protective role since runners’ patella cartilage is 3 times thicker than their fellow sedentary.

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella femoro-tibial syndrome is characterized by pain around the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs or slopes. Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching of the ilio-tibial band as well as exercises to strengthen the quadriceps are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain for more than 3 days

    When pain related to training persists over 3 days, it is advisable to consult a professional who specializes in sports injuries. This professional will be able to decide on a diagnosis, to structure a treatment plan and seek the cause of the problem. It is important to be cautious in the “medicalisation” and the complexity of a simple condition. Avoid repeated treatments without evolution. Avoid proposed surgery for injuries from overuse (without trauma).

  • Anterior knee pain

    The patella tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain below the kneecap. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week) associated with too many stairs, hills or speed. Be progressive! Eccentric strengthening of the quadriceps is the most important exercises for this type of problem. Some interventions such as a brace, a taping or shock wave therapy can be interesting, while others such as the infiltration of cortisone are absolutely to be avoided.

  • Lateral knee pain

    The ilio-tibial band syndrome is characterized by pain on the external side of the knee. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles ran per week). Be progressive! Stretching the IT-band and exercises to strengthen the hip muscles are often interventions taught for this type of problem.

  • Achilles tendon pain

    The Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis) is characterized by pain appearing upon palpation of the Achilles tendon. The main cause of this tendinopathy is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are most commonly taught for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the leg

    The shin-splint or tibia stress fracture is characterized by pain in front or on the inside of the leg. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Some tapings, stretching and eccentric strengthening exercises for the calf are frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • 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 this type of problem is a rapid increase in the volume, intensity or going down hills. Be progressive! Several exercises and deep strengthening control of the trunk and some proprioception exercises on the Swiss ball help to heal this kind of problem.

  • Pain under the front of the foot

    A metatarsalgia is characterized by pain in front of the arch of the foot, just before the toes. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! A metatarsal support and some exercises for strengthening the muscles of the foot are interventions that are frequently used for this type of problem.

  • Pain in the heel

    The fat pad syndrome is characterized by pain in the center of the heel. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the volume of training (time or number of miles run per week) associated with a poor running technique! Some specific tapings associated with low heel shoes are frequently used for this type of problem.

  • Pain under the foot

    The plantar fasciapathy (fasciitis) is characterized by pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! Stretching the plantar fascia, certain tapings and some exercises for strengthening muscles of the foot are frequently taught interventions for this type of problem.

  • Pain on the foot

    A metatarsus stress fracture (bones of the foot) is characterized by pain at the top of the foot. The main cause of this syndrome is a rapid increase in the intensity of training (speed, jumps, hills, intervals). Be progressive! A metatarsal support, some tapings, but above all a little rest are interventions frequently taught for this type of problem.

  • Modern illness

    Obesity, type II diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, certain cancers, and osteoporosis represent more than 70% of all sicknesses … and all of them can be highly reduced with physical activity.

  • The body adapts

    Remember that your body adapts well as long as the stress you are putting on it is not larger than it’s capacity of adaptation. The majority of overuse injuries come from an overload on the anatomical structures (bones, cartilages, tendons, muscles). Each new stimulus must be integrated progressively (quantity of trainings, shoe or surface change, etc).

  • Pain

    Pain is the first sign telling a runner that his anatomical structures are tired. One must respect it. The runner must reduce his everyday activities (including training) by resting for 2 days before progressively going back to training without pain. If pain persists, the runner should consult a specialized health practitioner.

  • Overtraining

    A runner will know that yesterday’s training was a little too difficult and that he has not yet recuperated, if the next morning his rest heart rate is 6-10 beats higher than his normal one (average of the previous mornings). In that case, a runner should take the day off and rest!

  • The body has limits

    A runner knows that he has exceeded his own capacity to adapt when he feels pain during or after training, if he sees swelling or feels stiffness in the morning. That is a dangerous zone, which exposes his body to injuries … so he must be careful and listen to his body.

  • Health in 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% so… Be perseverant and keep it up!

  • Running shoes

    It is highly recommended to gradually change your running shoes when they become an exacerbation factor of a biomechanical vice (deformation or wear of the sole). Transferring from an old to a new shoe must be done progressively. First of all, one should walk with his new shoes in the house for two days to break them in. Then, should integrate them slowly (two small trainings the first week, three trainings the second week, four trainings the third week, etc).

  • Cross-training

    When injured, complete rest is rarely the best therapy. In aiming to keep up his athletic qualities and to accelerate the healing process (good vascularization of his injured structures) it is suggested the runner finds an activity to stay fit. That activity (biking, aqua-jogging, swimming, etc) will work his heart without worsening his injury. In other words, painless cardio.