“If I was to pick one thing that keeps you injury-free, it’s the concept of rest—getting enough sleep and relaxation and recovery between workouts,” says Norbert Sander, MD. As the founding director of New York’s Preventive and Sports Medicine Center, Sander has treated sports injuries for more than three decades. “You risk injury if you’re running too hard too often or you’re sleep-deprived.”
Dr. Sander is a lifelong runner - and the winner of the 1974 New York City Marathon. “Science backs up how training cycles work,” he says. “You run into problems when you skip the ‘down’ part of the cycle. Don’t be obsessed with doing a particular workout. Frank Shorter once said he never does speed work on tired legs. If the calendar dictates, ‘Today is intervals,’ but you go out and say, ‘I’m beat,’ then you’ve got to adjust that. Because that’s how you can get hurt.”
Multisport coach Scott Cohen agrees. “Our bodies protect us from the continual impact of running by adapting and strengthening themselves. Much of this strength comes from allowing for proper recovery and from cross-training.”
Cohen thinks that “listen to your body” should be the endurance athlete’s mantra. He believes that runners can learn to detect signs of potential injuries early: unusual soreness, localized tenderness in muscles that are stressed by running: “This [awareness] can take time to develop. A gradual progression in mileage—a 10-percent weekly increase, at most—should be a priority if you’re new or returning to running.”
Norbert Sander, MD, has treated sports injuries for more than three decades as the founding director of New York's Preventive and Sports Medicine Center. He was also the winner of 1974 New York City Marathon.
May 18, 2016Dr. Stuart Weiss
Racing in warm, humid weather means paying extra attention to the conditions and how your body responds to them. New York Road Runners Medical Director Stuart Weiss, MD, offers tips to help you have a great race.
January 05, 2016Dr. Stuart Weiss
Sub-freezing temperatures require some changes of plan for your regular runs and for racing. Following are some helpful tips for staying safe if it’s cold, damp, and/or windy out. With the right clothing and adequate precautions, even single-digit weather can be comfortable for runners.
August 09, 2012Gurjeet Chadha
After a run, walk for a few minutes to let your body cool down. Cool water—or better yet, an ice bath—can help muscles recover and prevent common injuries.
August 09, 2012Mike Keohane
Coaches and health experts agree that full-body conditioning is vital for runners, both to prevent injuries and to maximize performance. Whether you do just a few strength exercises or a full weight-training regimen, you’ll benefit from a balanced approach.