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Tom’s Corner: Overuse

Written by Tom Marchand

In my job as a Body Soul trainer at J fitness, I’m often asked (usually by runners) about overuse injuries. As I’ve unfortunately come to learn first hand, daily, hard workouts are best left to the young. I find that I’m still able to train quite hard, just not as frequently.

If you’re a runner and are having knee, hip, Achilles or back problems (pick one of the above!) you probably need to start thinking about making changes in your training plan. Back off on your mileage, add more rest days, stick some strength training in place of one or 2 running days, do some cross-training or all of the above.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but many running problems are from overuse…performing the same action repeatedly, year after year. You can’t ‘run through’ them! You need to rest and rehab the injured area as appropriate and then come up with a way to train which no longer aggravates the injured area.

If I had to choose the single most effective way to avoid overuse injuries, I’d go with avoiding ‘junk mileage’ (running purposeless workout, just so you can add those miles to your weekly total) and replacing this with a few good cross-training days.