TC Running Company - Twin Cities

It’s that time again!!!

Alright everyone, it is time to consider safety equipment in athletics. In football we have helmets and pads, in soccer we have shin guards and spikes, and in running we have SHOES!! It is that time of year again! As fall descends on Minnesota, we have to consider our training shoes. When did we buy them? Oh yes, they were replaced last spring, in April. Well, guess what??? Time to replace them AGAIN. Those shoes may not even look worn out, but training shoes play a very distinct role in injury prevention. In Sports Medicine and in running there is a saying of “3 months or 300 miles.” This is a loose guideline on how often to replace your running shoes. So, if you bought a pair of shoes in April and ran all summer, that pair of shoes now falls within the guidelines for replacement by the 3 month rule at minimum if not also the 300 mile rule depending on the runner. For the average runner, if your shoes are not taking up the strain and stress what is? You are: your feet, your ankles, your knees, your hips, your low back… You get the idea. I know this might seem costly to replace shoes this often, but let’s think it through. By the time you have to pay for the costs of getting any injury treated as well as the against of not being able to run at will, you easily could have bought a pair of new shoes and warded off the injury in the first place.

These are some telling statistics about the deterioration of shock absorption in running shoes:

  • 25% is lost after 50 miles
  • 33% is lost after 100 miles
  • 40% is lost after 250-500 miles

Do your self a favor and replace your shoes every 3 months or 300 miles to avoid injury and continue training.

Many interesting training and injury prevention topics to come this fall and winter. Stay tuned for Stress Fracture City, Hydration Status Before, During, and After Competition as well as Off Season Training to Enhance Performance. If you have question regarding this article or have ideas for future articles, please email Dr. Westbrock at

Premier Sports and Spine

8577 Columbine Road • Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Phone: 952-479-0043 • Fax: 952-944-1673

Eliminate Training Errors

It is an unbelievable statistic, but 74% of running injuries can be prevented. How? By eliminating training errors. When we realize that a 150 lb person strikes the ground 1,200 times in a mile and averages 110 tons through each leg, it becomes easier to understand why these training errors are so important to avoid. Here are two simple strategies to use in order to avoid injuries in runners of all levels.

Follow the 10% rule!

The 10% rule is as follows: do not increase your intensity, duration, or mileage by more than 10% each week. For example, if you ran 10 miles last week you may run 11 miles this week. This is very important in both total miles per week and the longest run of the week as well. For example, if you ran 10 total miles last week and your longest run was 5 miles, you may run 11 total miles with 5.5 miles as the longest run this week.

The reason behind the 10% rule is based in science. Generally accepted is the SAID Principle, Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, which tells us that with increasing stress, in this case, increasing exercise, the body adapts and gets stronger. What is important about this idea is that we don’t just build up stronger as we increase the demands on our bodies. Our bodies actually go through a period of breakdown where cells are destroyed before they are built back up to be stronger. It is during this period of breakdown that the athlete is vulnerable for a repetitive strain and stress type of injury.

Staying within the parameters of the 10% rule keeps runners in a safe zone, the body can effectively “keep up” with the “damage” being done while increasing your mileage, intensity, or duration.

Get It Checked Out!

The most reliable indicator of future injury is a past history of injury. The more complicated the history is, the more likely a runner is to have another injury. As we run, a biomechanically repetitive motion, we use the same muscles over and over in the same pattern. If a runner has an injury that was very small, but didn’t heal 100%, the areas around the original injury can start to compensate.The areas that compensate around the injury start to break down, as they are not built to take up the extra strain and stress causing the injured area to become larger and more complex.

For example, a runner starts to experience knee pain under the kneecap (patellar tendonitis) after straining their hip flexor 2 months prior. Control of knee flexion and extension begins at the hip and due to compensation factors from the original injury at the hip, the knee biomechanics eventually become impacted. Another example is of an athlete who sprains their ankle while doing some trail running. The ankle seems to take care of itself with some rest, but has decreased range of motion as compared to the opposite side. The runner continues to train and in 2 months seeks medical treatment for a calf strain on the same side as the original ankle sprain.

The moral of the story here is that any ache or pain that is lasting more than a few days needs to be checked out. Nagging low-level injuries can turn into something far more complicated and long lasting if not dealt with correctly in the first place.

Typically, running injuries need a correct diagnosis, treatment to address the soft tissues and joints associated with the injury as well as areas of compensation, and then rehabilitative exercises specific to the injury and the individual.

Premier Sports and Spine

8577 Columbine Road • Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Phone: 952-479-0043 • Fax: 952-944-1673