Are injuries inevitable?

There is a lot of talk on here about people getting injured, Is that because everyone gets injured or just that the people who do get injured are blogging while those that are not are jogging? :-)

I played rugby from age of 8 till my early thirties and never had anything worse than the odd twisted ankle or dead leg, I have not had any running injuries in the 10 weeks or so since I started but is it just a matter of time?

19 Replies

  • Well I'm not able to run at the moment as I did something to my knee while jogging down a steep hill on my run last Mon :-( very frustrating not being able to get out there

  • I haven't (yet!) had an injury (started February 2012) - apart from a blister a couple of times when I've run without socks.

    I am slow (as in usually 9m/k average pace) running on off road surfaces, which I try to vary from run to run and within a run so I am not always on a forest track or rock. I have two pairs of running shoes, both trail, one fairly minimalist fitted at Sweatshop, the other barefoot. I've occasionally run in my active sandals. (I started the programme in walking boots) I don't stretch before or after my run sessions, I do the 5 minute walk at beginning and end and I observe a non-running day between runs. For the last six months I have consistently done a very short yoga practice first thing which is designed to stretch the main muscles which running might tighten. I do some other exercise - swimming, longer yoga sessions, gentle cycling (with electric assist) but not a lot. I don't wear specialist running clothes (other than undergarments which possibly do not apply to a stevo who used to play rugby) - one interesting thing is that I have very occasionally run in cut off denims or capri length running leggings when the weather is warm (otherwise I am in full length cotton leggings) and it has been then that I've sometimes experienced a little twinge in my calves.

    The main risk for me is from tripping or twisting an ankle or getting an eye poked but of course that could happen out for a walk. There are brambles that rugby tackle your ankles and I have been brought down by them - worst thing about that was realising some time afterwards that I'd dropped my keys and had to go back and search on a soggy forest ride.

    You'll hear about shin splints... I had that pain for years but running has pretty much cured it!

  • I think my injuries were caused by ten years of relative inactivity and carrying a couple of extra spare tyres! Then expecting to run under these conditions, but I have learnt through this forum how to deal with the setbacks and thankfully none have been serious.

    Listening to your body is key with warm ups, stretching after and building up muscle weakness where needed. Also taking rest days and even more rest days despite the nagging from your head telling you its the day for your run.

    Even professionals have injuries no matter which sport and maybe there are more people posting messages when they are injured as it is so frustrating not being able to run.

    Happy running!

  • I agree with all that has been said. I personally had imbalances but had to get physio years before I started running. I have been told stretches are very important. Not when you do them but that you do them. If you have a regular stretching/yoga/ Pilates regimes a few times a week that should help prevent injuries. Also the main thing treat niggles with caution. Not everything should be ignored. Get to know your body as you learn to run. Knowledge of your own body is key to keeping you fit and healthy with running.

  • I wouldn't say it's inevitable but it's part of it for many of us, lots we can do to head it off though. Make sure you've got the right shoes get gait analysis, post-run stretch (gently) and don't push yourself all the time (take recovery runs) - those are all the things I didn't do and have learned the hard way. :-)

  • I used to say sport was very bad for me.

    I was the one that wouldn't get out of the way of the rounders ball (those things hurt), I was the one that got concussion, not just once but twice from a basket ball. I was the one that injured my wrist by smacking it on a skating rink floor when I fell. I was the one that injured my knee by landing full weight onto it, yes on a skating rink (hard maple wood floor), I was the one who hurt my back in gymnastics at school. I was the one who aggregated my knee injury cycling. I was the one who ended up scraped and bruised cycling. I was the one who ankle randomly decided to swell up for no reason.

    Though I have to confess we found out I may have something wrong with my ligaments so maybe why injuries were erm worse for me.

    Never hurt myself swimming though other than the odd bashed foot if I hit the end wrong on a turn.

    I got ill, really ill, nothing to do with sport and I could not longer get out there and play. Over the years all my injuries got progressively worse. Physio didn't help. But I learnt that was because I had rubbish physios and I wasn't in the right space to actually listen.

    Then a couple of years ago I went on a pain management and back course and then had more physio and then more and something really clicked. My mobility had been getting progressively worse, I do have things that are mechanically wrong but if the muscles are strong then they work to help support me and bring the bits that are misaligned hopefully back into place. I also learnt that I could actually tape my knee caps back into place. So I started this program having had a full range of physio.

    Thus far I have had no injuries from running, other than when I slipped over I walking at the time and in fact my hip bursitis has improved and every progressive week I am having to tape my knees up less and less I can even walk up and down the stairs better know, sadly the horrible clicking, grating noise they make will never go away.

    I don't think injuries are necessarily inevitable, I think maybe there should be a prep plan, for people starting running from nothing, but then would they start? Maybe the early weeks should be running and a bit of strength and flex combined. Maybe a bit of info in the high impact nature of running and how you can reduce the stress on your body? I didn't come into this blind. So maybe those are factors that lead to injury.

    Moving forward injuries can and do happen, you can have the best form, the best supportive trainers etc and yet you could still stumble, slip, or you could simply have pushed yourself that bit far we are only humans after all. But it's how you treat that injury that counts, and for me the biggest thing and key is learning to listen to your body, somethings are preventable if you just know to look out for the warning signs.

  • Running isn't easy, and injuries do happen...however if we do everything properly and stretch after runs etc...and follow the God of running book of rules then that considerably reduces the chances. I have been running for just over a year now and had some problems early on ( due to poor shoes) and a few twinges since....good luck!

  • Well I'm 56 & started running early October , I've been injured twice last time ankle , couldn't run for 9 wk , re started 8 wk ago now sore hip ! Me thinks I'm proper imbalanced. .

  • All I can say is I have never had any injuries beyond some slight stiffness the day after running in the first week.

    I am 67 years old, hadn't run for 50 years but have been running for the last six months. I run on tracks, through woods, on roads, up and down hills, I have never been specially fitted for shoes. I make sure I warm up and do stretches after after running. I also do kettlebells and I do rebounder on non run days.

    I am aiming to do 'Race for Life' in 2015 so I go at my own pace. I'm not interested in 'beating;' times, I don't care how long I take to run my answer is NO, not everyone gets injured.

    There will always be accidents - falls, twisted knees and ankles etc but if you go about this sensibly and stay within your own capabilities then barring accidents there is no reason to be injured.

  • I got a very minor injury yesterday when doing Stepping Stones. I felt uncomfortable with the speed of it very early into the run but persevered - when it would have been better to stop, or at least slow down to my usual plod. So, I know what caused this injury (which is a lot better today) and it was my own fault. It's the first injury I've had, so I don't think it's inevitable - but injuries can happen in any sport. I used to go swimming at a centre that was raising money for people with spinal injuries and the centre was geared around people with all sorts of disabilities - the number of people playing wheelchair rugby because they'd got serious injuries during their games of 'normal' rugby was quite high. Injuries can happen anytime and anywhere. All we can do is take the necessary precautions to try to lessen the risk - or stay in bed 24/7 and just avoid living. Best wishes.

  • I'm no born again athelete, I sarted c25k back in Feb this yr and just did the 5m warm up walk. I got through to run the 30minutes (I'm certain its not 5k at my pace) did the 3 days a week to get to that stage, then I had a week off due to a Bereavement. Exactly 7 days later I went out to do my usual warm up walk then run, immediately started with pain shooting up both achilles. I was determined so caried on, thinking it just a twinge. 10 minutes later I could hardly walk, never mind run. That was 2 weeks back, I now am hobbling on my left ankle,the right seems to have cleared up.

    So_ I would say, without the proper care, anyone is leaving themselves wide open to where is that article on stretches I found the other day?

  • Many C25kers, myself included, are coming to running later in life, after various degrees of debauchery and inactivity over many years. Inevitably our bodies are susceptible to strain when we start unfamiliar exercise regimes and being that bit older, we don't bounce back quite so well when we suffer a physical setback. Like premiership footballers, we call any sprain, strain or ache an injury, if it is enough to prevent us from continuing running. It is easy to encounter imbalances as one muscle set develops through running and these can be countered by doing the appropriate exercises to keep everything in balance. "Injuries" occur when we push our bodies further than they can cope with and that obviously varies from individual to individual. I have leaned more about my body, it's capabilities and it's limits and how to cope with "injury", in the ten months I have been running, than ever before.

    Heres hoping you continue to stay injury free. Keep running, keep smiling.

  • "Many C25kers, myself included, are coming to running later in life, after various degrees of debauchery and inactivity over many years. Inevitably our bodies are susceptible to strain when we start unfamiliar exercise regimes and being that bit older, we don't bounce back quite so well when we suffer a physical setback."

    And conversely, some of us coming to running later in life, but with good cardio-vascular fitness from a life of hiking and cycling, find the fitness side of running quite easy and may try to do too much, too soon. Without the 'miles in our legs' this can lead to over-use injuries, where muscular imbalances can lead to injuries.

  • I couldn't agree more.

  • I think that when you're young, say up to your 40s, you can get away with a lot if you are not overweight and you stay reasonably fit. Even if you injure yourself, your body heals quickly and a lot depends on what sports you do and to some extent how relaxed you are (being competitive can bring injury with it) and whether you are blessed with a naturally good physique.

    I spent my youth horse riding, cycling, skiing, running and hiking with a few injuries - twisted ankle, twisted knee, some falls, thankfully no broken bones. Sadly now at 60 those injuries are making themselves felt with imbalances, stiffness, a little arthritis. In the last 10 years I've done lots of tai chi (similar results to Pilates)' gym work, Feldenkrais and used physios and osteopaths. I'm absolutely loving running but I am having to take care and if I overdo it then I suffer but tai chi in particular has taught me body awareness in movement so I take care, especially if some pain develops. I hope to keep running for years yet but I do think it's hard on the body and I think stretching is important.

    My husband has never had an injury in his life and is super relaxed and pretty fit but even he, at 62, is beginning to get a few aches and pains in knees and tendons. So good luck, don't despair if you do develop an injury, hopefully you won't but those who age with no problems at all are very lucky. Still, better a pulled tendon than a heart attack! :-)

  • I'm 64, I've been running for just over two years and (to date) I've never had an injury. So, no, I don't think they are inevitable. I do believe in listening to my body and lest you think I'm some kind of uber-fit person who is never hurt I should tell you that I've had a very long (25 yrs +) history of serious back pain, now resolved by a chiropractor. I was worried that running might aggravate my back, but it hasn't. So I just keep on keeping on, and loving it!

  • Thanks for all the replies. It does seem running is quite an injury prone sport, but as I am hooked now i will have to keep going! :-)

    I am doing warm up and warm down walks, stretching after runs and making sure I have rest days do hopefully that will keep me as injury free as possible. I do not wanna miss my runn so fingers crossed!

  • I walk loads so thought my legs would be ok but, early on, around week 2, my knees hurt so much that I woke in the night. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to carry on with the program and that I had knackered my knees for good. After a week and a half break I was back with the program and am now just about to start Week 7. I don't need the knee supports or ibuprofen or ibuleve gel anymore either. I think that injuries are not inevitable and if they happen then they aren't necessarily the end of running.

  • That you had never gotten hurt much in all those years is partly luck, and partly genetics. In the same basic time frame, doing no sports at all, i managed to sprain ankles, knees, wrists, elbows and even strain my neck! Also: stitches at various times on each hand and my head.

    Surprisingly, its been a couple months now and

    I havent yet injured myself on this running lark.

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