Injuries are almost inevitable when you’re a runner. But you don’t need to keep getting the same one repeatedly.

This article was inspired by a conversation I had with a fellow club runner and is in no way a judgement, just an observation and food for thought, I hope. He had a calf injury for years following a bad football tackle in his teens, which has come back time and time again since he’s been a serious runner.

I asked him how he gets rid of it each time and he gave a sensible answer of resting and stretching. No problems with that.

This approach does however, leave out the possible avoidance of the injury recurring. The rest, stretching and short term strengthening rarely never goes beyond getting them back on the road, track or trail.

These are hard-working, committed runners who push themselves in training, yet aren’t getting the results and rewards of their effort because it’s misplaced.

I write this as someone who’s been guilty of the exact same thing in the past. During my teens I ran a fair bit and got to a good standard, but was constantly plagued by knee and hip pain on my right side meaning I never got more than around 8 weeks of consistency before needing a couple of weeks or more out. Since returning to running in 2016, having worked as a personal trainer for 4 years and working on strengthening as well as regular stretching, I’ve had very few injuries and only when I’ve neglected strength work due to additional work or personal demands (moving house and holiday catch-ups for instance).

Consistent work on the root cause of an injury, can curtail if not cure a lot of the niggles that us runners get. Once you’ve found out the root cause of a problem, treat it and maintain some sort of routine which keeps the problem at bay for good rather than chasing a quick fix.


Written by Kyle Brooks, Running Coach based in Norwich, Norfolk.