3 typical running injuries and how to prevent them

​Emily Carter By ​Emily Carter

As you start your training, there is a significant chance that you may develop some injuries along the way. In fact, experts claim that 80 percent of runners get injured per year - here's how to prevent three common injuries.

1. Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

This is a condition which commonly occurs due to overusing the muscles and tissues of the body. Fasciitis happens when the muscles in your feet tear apart or start to inflame because of constant stress.

An intense pain usually occurs upon waking up and first putting weight on your feet. Other symptoms are persistent and dull pain that may intensify into a stabbing or sharp pain at times. It may also cause heel tenderness.

Treatment for this condition includes rest, applying ice on the affected area, and elevating the area. Additionally, you may want add a compression bandage and heel pads. For longer-term conditions, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication or physiotherapy.

2. Runner’s knee

Runner’s knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain around and behind your kneecap, especially when you are running. Also known as Runner’s knee it is one of the most common overuse injuries when it comes to running. As well as constant low-level pain, the condition may cause a sudden pain when kneeling, squatting and taking the stairs. There is some evidence that untreated runner’s knee may lead to early stages of arthritis.

You can use physical therapy to treat this condition. Use targeted exercises to strengthen the lower half of your body and your core, especially the hip and knee muscles. Short term relief can come from dynamic and static stretches while using a foam roller.

This is a condition you may want to consult a doctor on, as it can be aggravated by poor gait.

3. Iliotibial Band Syndrome Or ITB

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Or ITB

ITB (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) causes a burning and sharp pain just above your knee, especially during running. It is caused by inflammation of the iliotibial band which stabilises the knee and moves around the femur as you run. The pain can intensify when you do repetitive motions and longer distances in outdoors or on a running treadmill. Also, as you continue to bend your knees, it may cause more discomfort and swelling in the same area. These symptoms may appear at once or one by one, and continue for about four weeks.

You can treat this condition in various ways, including taking anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen or supporting with a knee brace. Combine this with R-I-C-E (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). You can also add deep tissue massages and stretches to alleviate the pain.

How to prevent these running injuries

Do you want to prevent these injuries from happening? Remember that there is a fine line between pushing your luck and pushing too hard. To lessen the aches and pains, here are some of the most efficient methods you may follow to avoid these injuries:

Remember the 10 percent rule

When you train, do not increase your distance by over 10 percent per week. Increasing the distance suddenly may increase your chance of injuries.

Runners 10% rule
Running warm ups and cool downs

Do your warm ups and cool downs

When you want to go for an intense sprint, you need to remember to warm up with some stretches before your training. After a run, you will also want to perform a cool down routine - it not only reduces the chance of injury but can also boost the effects of training.To avoid injuries, you should stay in your good running form. A poor form will lessen your performance level. Plus, it could lead to a sudden pain. Thus, you need to make sure that you follow an appropriate running method to avoid injuries.

Observe a proper running form

To avoid injuries, you should maintain a good running form. A poor form will lessen your performance level, and can considerably increase your risk of injury.

If you do get repeated injuries it is worth talking to a doctor or a specialist trainer who can analyse your running gait and identify any issues.

Proper running form
Choose the right pair of running shoes

Choose the right pair of running shoes

You need to make sure that you keep track of your running footwear. If not, you may develop a painful blister on your feet over time. You need to remember to check on them and get rid of them after 600 miles or so of running.

The right pair of shoes will not only reduce injuries, but ca help you boost your running performance. Specialist shops with trained advisers will be able to help you identify a shoe for your foot shape and running style.

Find even trails

If you are new to running or recovering from an injury, avoid running on rough surfaces that put too much stress on your tissues and ligaments.

Although uneven terrains are be fun and challenging, they put additional strain on your feet, legs and hips. Build up your strength and flexibility before going for the more challenging terrain.

You can use OS Maps to identify new trails in your area.

Find even trails

Get strength training for running

Get strength training

You do not want to start your marathon without grabbing some barbells and dumbbells. Lifting weights will allow you to boost your body’s strength and fitness level.

Weight training helps your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons to adapt to the loads experienced while running, reducing the chances of injury.


Although running is such a great workout for your whole body, it can be quite dangerous at times.

To avoid running injuries the most important thing is to know when to limit yourself. Overtraining can cause most of these injuries - ensure you plan at least a day or two of off every week from training to allow your body to recover. If you are suffering from a suspected injury, avoid intense training or you risk making a minor injury worse, and speak to a doctor if it is persistent.

​Emily Carter By ​Emily Carter


Emily is an American competitive athlete who is always trying to push herself to the limit. She is also the founder of GoAheadRunner, where Emily and friends blog about everything a runner needs, whether you are a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner.

As a certified holistic life coach, Emily also has 3 years' experience as a power running instructor and holds a degree in sport science. She loves bringing what she knows and learns to the community and hopes to help everyone to the road to happiness.