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  • Sarah Chapman

Does Strength Training Reduce the Risk of Running Injury?

Its that time of year when anyone entered in a spring Marathon race or distance running event starts to feel the effects of the long training runs. I have huge admiration for anyone who enters a distance running event as the training commitment is extensive, you need to be focused, dedicated and stay free of injury.

As the mileage in those longer runs builds, so can the risk of an injury. As a physio we have long-spoken about the important role of strength training in a runner’s programme and its role in injury prevention. However as an evidence-based profession, where science should back our treatment and theory, good research into the role strength training plays in reducing injury risk in recreational runners has been a bit lacking. Until now!


Only last month, in January, a good quality study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine in Science and Sports has looked at the Effectiveness of an 18-week general strength and foam-rolling intervention on running-related injuries in recreational runners. In summary it is a 30-minute programme, performed twice a week including strength-training of the larger muscle groups of the lower limb and the foot muscles, alongside foam rolling.

Initially the results, comparing injury rates in more than 400 recreational runners, did not appear to show significant benefit in the strength training and foam rolling group versus the non-intervention group. However, when compliance was looked at – those runners who had high compliance and completed their exercises twice a week for 18 weeks (number of sessions > 32 over 18 weeks) were 85% LESS LIKELY to sustain a running-related injury compared to runners who did not perform the programme.


So there we go… if we do our exercises it will help. But we have to do them!!


Are you a runner and would like help with your strength training programme? You can book online for an appointment with one of our physiotherapists by clicking here. We can advise on the type of strength exercises you should be performing, depending on your running distance and any areas of the body you may already feel pain or niggles in. We accept self-pay clients and those using private medical insurance.


Sports Massage £20 Discount Offer (valid until 30/04/2023)


We are offering a £10 discount on 60 and 90 minute Sports Masasge appointments with our therapists Laura and Endre to EVERYONE running a spring distance event or marathon. Just bring evidence of your entry to your appointment. Have unlimited pre-race massages with a £10 discount and get another £10 off a post-event massage to help ease those post-race day aches and niggles. That's at least a £20 saving! Book your appointment by clicking here.


If you’d like to read the full article in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine in Science and Sports it is free to access and you can do so here.

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