Running Injuries

Acute Injury

Of course, some injuries happen in one, unfortunate moment. These are actually more easily treated and you’ll probably recover more quickly from them compared to the chronic issues discussed below. Find more information about these kinds of injuries here.

  • Female runners: See this page for more information about what might be causing your injuries.

Chronic Injury and How to Prevent It

Most running injuries are chronic. In fact, the chances of having some kind of injury related to running is about 70% PER YEAR. That means that, if you run for more than one year, your chances of having some kind of injury are greater than 100%. Most of these injuries can be traced to poor form. Poor form is often encouraged by poor footwear. Good shoes are rare and probably 98% of all shoes are not “foot-shaped” and have elevated heels. Both of these factors allow for and encourage poor running form and stride. Check out my recommendations for good shoes here. One interesting point: that padding below your foot, along with poor form/heel strike will actually make you hit the ground HARDER than if you were to hit the ground with no shoe at all.

Once you have good shoes, take time to learn and practice good form, stride, and footstrike. Here are a few “quick tips” to get you started. Below that are a few websites that can teach you how to do this.

A. Run quietly

B. Short, quick strides (3 per second = 180 steps per minute)

1. Metronome while running on a treadmill

C. Land below your center of gravity, not in front

D. Keep elbows high and tight behind your back

1. a great way to ensure this is to tie a shoelace into a loop and put it between the elbow around the back of the person

E. Splay the toes and try to dig into the ground as if you have “cat-claws” (but using the pads of your toes instead of the tips)

F. Land on the midfoot/outer forefoot

1. If you do all of the above, it is impossible to NOT land on your midfoot/forefoot

2. that’s why ‘forefoot/barefoot/minimalist’ running isn’t a good term since it is entirely possible to run wrong with no shoes and to also run right with shoes

G. Correct gait cycle goes Forefoot-heel-forefoot

1. Instead of Heel-forefoot

2. Heel barely touches, but it does


The Natural Running Center

Mark Cucuzella MD displays great form and shows some of the best drills and exercises for developing a good “natural running” technique.

Altra Founder Golden Harper’s Running Technique videos

Founded the company that makes some of the best “foot-shaped” shoes. They have variable padding and are great for transitioning to natural running form.

Click here for Golden Harper’s Information and technique videosGood running form chart

Good Form Running

Former Olypmian Grant Robinson teaches you how to run faster, run easier, and run injury free.

Click here for more Good Form Running videos and info.

Grant Robison on form in the Olympics 1500 Meter

Vivobarefoot Technique Videos and Information

From a company that makes great “foot-shaped” shoes. They all have little to no padding, which is great for ground-feel and training your bones/muscles/joints to work better. These shoes are best used after a gradual transition with shoes that have padding (like Altra’s) or from the beginning, but with a gradual and thoughtful slow increase in distance and intensity.

More for Vivobarefoot Consultant, Lee Saxby

Information from Harvard’s Barefoot Running Lab

by Dr. Daniel Lieberman

Harvard running tips

Video by Dr. Hoopes on Running Injuries

The video above is a review of the latest scientific and academic literature on the subject of chronic running injuries and how they can be prevented by proper running form. This is in-depth and involves many complex principles as it was given to an audience of orthopedic surgeon peers as a formal presentation while studying as a resident orthopedic surgeon in Albuquerque, New Mexico at UNM.

More “Natural” (Barefoot) Running Resources

Information by Nick Campitelli DPM:

Minimalist vs Cushioned Shoes

How often you should change your running shoes

Article From Runner’s World on Foot Strike (Barefoot Running)

Foot Strike Facts


Leave the Road & Run

Altra vs Hoka – The Trial