Variety in Running to Lower Overuse Injury

Many new athletes make the error of lacking variation in their training.

This can come in the form of wearing the same pair of shoes for every single workout, running on the same terrain all of the time, or training at the same pace for almost every run.

We’ll start with shoes, which we here at SKORA are ever so fond of.

A recent study determined that athletes who use different shoes for different runs have a 39% lower injury rate than those who used the same shoe for all of their training. We’ll get to why, in a moment.

Running surface variation is also important. Road camber is an example of this, if you’re always running facing traffic you are basically giving yourself a leg length discrepancy. Try to vary up the surface by seeking out bike paths and trails.

So why is shoe and running surface variability important?

The answer is because if you were to run on the same surface at the same speed in the same shoe for nearly all of your running, the mechanical stress and force location being placed on your body is being placed on nearly the same location, every single time you take a step. This is how overuse injuries often take place, a small part of your body is stressed every day without a chance to heal itself stronger.

Training diversity is also important.

We’re talking not going out at the same pace for every single run. Running slower gives your body a chance to recover. Running faster gives your body some stimulus to grow from and become stronger. Different speeds also change your form and footstrike, which plays a part in spreading out impact forces so they are not concentrated on the same locations over and over again (remember those overuse injuries!).

Now, how does one vary up their training?

I use different shoes for different types of training. My easier and shorter runs are in the Core while my longer and difficult workouts are in the Form. This definitely helps me strengthen my feet with the Cores while adding in some more cushion with the Form.

During training, I also like to fluctuate my paces, even during easier runs. If I’m out for a simple low effort workout, I’ll throw in some downhill strides every 4-8oo meters. This also includes entire runs. The central idea behind every running plan is there are easy days and hard days. It is crucial to structure your own workouts with multiple types of variation.

Kyle @ SKORA

You might also like: How to Get Ahead of Overuse Injuries / Strides: What, When, How, Why

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