Joint pain, whether caused by aging, injury, or a medical condition, can significantly affect one's…
Resilience is being able to run without fear of retribution! Essentially being better equipped to stave off injury and rebound quicker from injury.
To be resilient your body needs to be robust. In order to be robust your body needs to be able to withstand the forces of running, namely ground reaction force. When running, the ground reaction force is equivalent to around 3x body weight. Without a nice smooth transfer of the energy up our legs and into the rest of the body we will invariably injure something.
Get strong and stable- in order to absorb ground reaction force you need a level of muscular strength which will come in the form of strength training! We need to change the stigma associated with resistance training in runners, as I know most reading this really won’t be that keen, but trust me it’s a big deal for injury prevention and it will make you faster!
Train specifically- and I don’t mean run more! To be able to resist dynamic forces there needs to a level of dynamism in what you do to keep conditioned. This should be in the form of plyometric training but until you have number 1 and 2 under your running belt don’t bother. A springy person who’s limbs are flailing around due to weak core and hips isn’t going to fairway very well.
Get mobile but don’t over do it! Stretching is sometimes useful but to be honest strength and avoiding overloading is much more important. Believe it or not the stiffer a tendon the better. Tendons like the Achilles require stiffness in order to be good springs (like a kangaroo!). With lots of stretching and no strength/dynamism you risk injury. That said, I still do advocate mobility exercise such as foam rollering and certain stretches as tension in certain muscle groups (like calves and glutes) can and will lead to issues like plantar fasciitis and tendinopathy.
Sticking to these 3 tips will help your body become more resilient when running. As a result, you are less likely to get injured. For more information on specific exercises to improve your strength view our Strength and Conditioning page.
Another way of building resilience if you are new to running would be to follow the Couch to 5K plan. This gradually builds up your tolerance to running, over 9 weeks, ensuring that your body adapts to the load put through it, reducing the likelihood of overuse injuries.