Strength & Endurance Advice From A Trusted Dublin Sports Clinic
A Comprehensive Approach to Treating Overuse Injury in Endurance Sports
Anywhere up to 78% of Strength and Endurance athletes are reported to have an injury at some stage during the year.
Overuse injuries in runners (such as knee pain, calf pain, achilles tendonitis) are effectively cumulative trauma injuries where the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bursae) and hard tissue (bones) are subjected to forces that they are unable to deal with. Consider the following:
Ground reaction force in running (force from the ground upwards as your foot hits the ground) is reported in studies to be between 2.5 and 3 times body weight.
E.g. 80kg runner who averages 500 foot contacts per mile
80kg x 2.5 = 200kg
200kg x 500steps =
100,000kg of load per mile!
Reflect on the above equation
Now envisage what the soft and hard tissues in your body must be able to absorb during each mile that you run. Therefore the safest way to train is to balance the tissues load capacity with the loads been applied (i.e. your weekly training volume). The following image shows the various components that need to be balanced on a weekly basis.
One of the best ways to increase tissue capacity is to incorporate strength training into your week. Strength training leads to greater tissue load capacity which allows an athlete to incrementally increase training volume with reduced risk of injury.
A recent study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sport (2014) measured the impacts of strength training for running and cycling performance and found multiple benefits such as improved lactate threshold, maximal speed and endurance performance among other things but importantly they found NO negative physiological and performance effects.
In summary – The benefits of strength training far outweigh any potential negatives!!
Other benefits from various studies on strength training in endurance athletes include:
All sports injuries reduced to less than 33% and almost a 50% reduction in overuse injuries (Laursen et al 2013).
Increased running economy and performance improvement (Yamamoto et al 2008).
Increased flexibility and strength from eccentric strength training (training a muscle in a lengthened position) which was shown to be vastly superior to stretching for flexibility improvements (O’Sullivan et al 2012).
When treating injuries in our endurance athletes or someone looking to go from couch to 5k we look to balance the tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone) load tolerance with current and future training volume. We want to keep our runners and cyclists exercising but finding that balance of workload and tissue tolerance is crucial.
Importantly we also address a myriad of other hugely influential but often overlooked factors such as previous injuries, lifestyle, breathing patterns, running mechanics and beliefs & behaviours around injury.
Simply treating the symptoms of an injury and not addressing all the factors contributing to it will inevitably lead to further injury.
You can contact us on 01 9079633 for our comprehensive assessment and treatment approach.