Smith 1Nicole SmithMrs. LesterAdv. Comp.11 October 2011 What Problems Do Runners Face? Many runners usually end up getting hurt by the end of their careers. Many factors causethese injuries and “depending on the body tissues involved, may indicate myositis (aninflammation of the muscle), tendinitis, (inflammation of the tendons), or periostitis (aninflammation of the tissue covering the bone)” (Wright). It may be very surprising to other sportsplayers that running causes as many injuries as it does because it is a sport that seems soharmless, but most runners suffer an injury by the end of their careers. Simply running does notinvolve any contact, it does not involve any sort of ball that could be a hazard, and it does notinvolve any jumping of any sort, but it does cause the kind of stress on muscles that leads tosprains and fractures. For example, a football player could get an injury by colliding with anotherplayer which could lead to internal injuries, but a runner only has the force of her weight on theground to lead to injuries which, more often than not, is a sprain. To try to understand the fulleffects that sprains and other problems have on runners, it is important to understand what theindividual injuries are, how the problems impact runners, what solutions there are to theproblems, and what the future looks like for these issues. One way to understand the full effects of injuries on runners is to understand what eachspecific injury is. One common problem that runners experience is an injury called shin splints,which is “defined as an inflammation of the tissues in the lower leg causing pain with exercise”(Wright). This problem hurts runners because if the pain of this injury gets too severe, there is a
Smith 2possibility that they will have to stop running completely. When runners have to stop running,they could lose their fitness which means that even when they do get back on the track, theycannot perform at the same standards they could before they got the injury. Not being able toperform at the same standards is a problem for runners because it not only interrupts theirtraining schedule, but it also affects them mentally. They are so focused on making running theirlife, so when they cannot do it, they feel as if life is no longer important. Another commonproblem that runners face is the problem of being overworked, and “A body is not meant to beon the go all the time” (“Physical Fitness”). This issue becomes a problem with most runnersbecause it is very easy to run too much and overwork the body without even realizing they aredoing it. When they do stop working out as hard as they always have, this break makes them feellike they are not doing enough; therefore, this problem is an ongoing cycle of overwork on theirbodies. A third problem that runners face is overheating because “it is easy to overheat if aperson is active on a hot day” (“Physical Fitness”). Most runners have the motivation to keeprunning even when they feel pain which is where overheating becomes a problem in the sport.Running in places, such as Georgia, where the temperature gets really hot for most of the year iswhen overheating is especially a problem. Overall, an understanding of the factors that canhinder a runner’s success is important for complete enjoyment of the sport. Another way to completely understand the effects of the issues a runner faces is to realizehow individual problems impact the runner. First of all, to see the impact of shin splints, onemust first understand that “stress fractures are a possibility if activities are strenuous over longperiods of time without proper rest” (Fallon). If runners who have shin splints do not restenough, then they could risk getting a stress fracture. Since, as mentioned before, runners do nothave the mindset to stop running when they get hurt, they will end up getting this more serious
Smith 3injury and possibly jeopardizing their running career forever. This more serious injury wouldalso impact a person later in life because the injuries obtained when younger could end upmaking the muscles weak, leaving them weak when she is older. Secondly, the impact ofoverwork can be seen in a person’s posture and attitude because “overdoing exercise can resultin feeling tired, weak, sore, or irritable” (“Physical Fitness”). This effect is seen on the runners atCreekview High School because there have been complaints from some of their teachers aboutnot doing well in classes. If these athletes were not so tired from the work they do at practice,then they would be more awake and able to pay attention in class. This lowering of grades couldleave an impact on the runners for the future because it is getting harder and harder to get intocollege. For this reason, having a lower grade is going to hurt their chances even more. Finally,the fact that “The symptoms of overheating can include cramps, nausea, tingling and clammyskin, and can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke” (“Physical Fitness”) shows the impactoverheating can have on a runner. Having a heat stroke from overheating while running cancause many health issues to a person; it could even possibly lead to death. However, even if itdoes not cause death, there would be a hospital bill that would have to be paid just from havingthe heat stroke. This hospital bill would have an impact on the whole family of a runner becausea household has enough costs as it is and any other bill would lead to more stress on the wholefamily. In the end, there are many ways that every single issue in running impacts a runner.Sometimes this issue even goes beyond the runner to other people in the runners life which isserious and should definitely be taken into consideration when one thinks about starting arunning career.
Smith 4 Thirdly, knowing current solutions to all of the injuries is helpful in seeing the full effectsthey have on runners. Firstly, to solve the problem of shin splints, “…protect [your] feet,strengthen [your] foot muscles, and help prevent injuries by running barefoot every once on awhile” (“Barefoot Running Can Improve Foot Fitness”). By doing this, the runner will have lessof a possibility of stressing a muscle and getting a shin splint. This technique of solving theproblem of shin splints can be proven correct by looking at the limited amount of injuries thatprofessional runners acquire because “Many… professional runners run a few barefoot mileseach week” (“Barefoot Running Can Improve Foot Fitness”). Since “A person shouldn’t exercisemore than six days a week” (“Physical Fitness”), to solve the problem of overworking, a runnershould make a running schedule a week in advance. With this schedule, the runner can make sureshe gets all the proper work she needs to improve running times, but can also make sure she getsall the work done in six days. By scheduling in advance, it will be easier for the runner to havetime to switch different work-outs around and see what works best for six days instead of justrunning seven days because she may realize she has missed a workout halfway through the week.Thirdly, to solve the problem of overheating, runners should try to stay out of the heat, but “Ifone does, one should drink a lot of water, wear well-ventilated clothing, and pay attention to howthe body is reacting to the heat” (“Physical Fitness”). By staying inside on days that are over aspecific heat index, runners would be able to still do their workouts on a treadmill or other formof inside running equipment, but they would also be able to be where the air conditioning is. If,however, it is not possible to stay out of the heat by doing this, then the runners should look upthe symptoms of overheating and be sure to make sure that they are not experiencing any ofthem. If they are experiencing one of them, they should stop running which could eliminate the
Smith 5problem altogether. As is made very clear, there are many solutions to problems in the runningcareer, but there are other solutions that might be found in the future. Finally, knowing what the outlook for these problems is can be very helpful inunderstanding how to possibly help runners facing these problems. First off, “Although exerciseis safe for the majority of children and adults, there is still a need for further studies to identifypotential risk” (Fallon). This fact means that there are still scientists and researchers out theresearching for a way to prevent these problems, and other problems that are found, fromoccurring. Sometime in the near future all this research might lead to an answer to a problem,such as shin splints, that has never been uncovered before. Secondly, since everyone pronates,meaning they “land on the outside bottom of their foot and roll inward” (Mirkin), there may beanother technique invented to help the legs of a runner while running. Pronation keeps a runnersafe and protects them from getting an injury, but sometimes it also causes a problem when arunner pronates too much because it twists the leg. In the future, there is a possibility that arunner will come up with a new technique that will help others stop pronation so much and runanother way that will not twist the too much and cause injuries. Thirdly, because of the fact that“When shopping for running shoes, the height of the arches is important” (Mirkin), researcherswill probably be coming up with a new running shoe that will be made specific for each runner.A new technology to help make these shoes would be a machine that could tell the exact heightof a runner’s arch, and with this machine, the perfect shoe could be made for each individualrunner. The possibility of an invention like this one being made is very high because of the factthat it will prevent most problems that runners have with their shoes. All in all, there are manyfuture outlooks for problems with running that will hopefully make it a more popular sport in thefuture.
Smith 6 As is made very obvious by current research, there are many issues within the career ofrunning. This point, however, does not mean that running is a career that should be rethoughtbecause even though there are many problems, there are also many ways to prevent theproblems. The future is bright for this career and its problems. Also, some of these issues can betaken care of by just being a smart runner and making good decisions. For example, staying outof the heat to prevent a heat stroke is the decision of runners, and if they choose to get in theheat, then they are putting themselves at risk. There will be problems in any career a personchooses, but that does not mean that she should not chose that career, and that is the case withthe career of running.
Smith 7 Works Cited“Barefoot Running Can Improve Foot Fitness.” Academic Search Complete. USA Today Magazine, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/ detail?vid=4&hid=123&sid=13a40c56-3415-4fe0-a0d9- b9474cb5b7b3%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a 9h&AN=5256333>.Fallon, L. Flemming. “Exercise.” Source: The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L Longe and Ed. Deirdre S. Blanchfield. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit. 1249-1252. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Sept. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&u serGroupName=cant48040&tabID=T003&searchId=R3&resultListType=RESULT_LIS T&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=1&contentSet=G ALE%7CCX3405600582&&docId=GALE|CX3405600582&docType=GALE&role=>.Mirkin, Gabe. “Shoes are key when running.” Gale Virtual Reference Library. The Washington Times, 16 Sept. 2007. Web. 9 Sept. 2011. <http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ NewsDetailsPage/ NewsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=News&disableHighlighting=false&prodId=O VIC&action=e&windowstate=normal&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CA168723999& mode=view&userGroupName=cant48040&jsid=fffcf1b797ca4e943991cceb53bcba5e>.“Physical Fitness.” UXL Complete Health Resource. Vol. 3. Detroit. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Ed. Caroline M. Levchuck. Web. 9 Sept. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ i.do?action=interpret&id=GALE%7CCX3437000047&v=2.1&u=cant48040&it=r&p=G VRL&sw=w&authCount=1>.
Smith 8Wright, Kathleen. “Shin Splints.” The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit, 2005. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&u serGroupName=cant48040&tabID=T003&searchId=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIS T&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPosition=1&contentSet=G ALE%7CCX3435100718&&docId=GALE|CX3435100718&docType=GALE&role=>.