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Are you ready to run?

There was so much to unpack in our show with Dr. Josh Jones that we wanted to flesh it out with the most important takeaways from his conversation with Scott several weeks ago about running injuries. 
If you missed this episode, go back and have a listen here.

The main takeaway from the conversation is the importance of strength and conditioning work for runners, as Josh says: “Get fit to run, don’t run to get fit”.
Josh used a cable bridge analogy to describe the forces running places on our body: Our muscles and ligaments are the cables supporting the structure of the bridge (bones and tendons).
If we are not strong enough to properly mitigate the load running puts on our body the consequence is greater stresses on our joints and bones, often resulting in tendon injuries, joint damage and possibly stress fractures. 

Are you ready to run?

Try out these simple drills, they are a typical test Josh runs patients through to assure they are ready to return to a running program after injury: 
– 30 single leg calf raises in one set with no pain
– Single leg hops for 60-90 seconds without pain and with good form
– 15 single leg bridges (with good form, slowly on the way down while rolling spine making sure each vertebrate contacts the ground)

——-> Running is essentially a form of plyometrics and is much harder on your body than these simple drills. If you cannot complete these exercises completely and with proper form then you should consider rethinking your mileage, goals and dedicate yourself to a regular strength and conditioning program.

Exercises to try: 

  • Banded knee drives (or marches)
  • Banded glute bridging- to strengthen hips to prevent hip/knee pain and overuse injuries
  • Loaded (holding heavy weights) calf raises with slow eccentric heel drops for Achilles tendinitis 
  • Agility set, ideally barefoot on a soft surface

Additional tips:

– Don’t overstretch, especially your hip flexors. Sometimes this is a protective mechanism as body not used to or ready to move through that range of motion needed for running
– Consider trying dry needling as studies show potential to stimulate blood flow to promote self healing

Need some guidance and structure with your strength work?

Check out our Strength and Conditioning for trail runners!
We’ve teamed up with Life’s 2 Short Fitness to provide you with 2 unique workouts a week designed by our coaches and exercise physiologists to ensure that you are strong, stable and ready to run!
—–> Learn more now HERE.


Scott is the founder of Becoming Ultra and spends most of his time with his family and ideas to get people moving!