Senior Research Paper


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Senior Research Paper

  1. 1. Godfrey 1Wade GodfreyMrs. LesterAdv. Comp.4 October 2011 Training Injuries in Long Distance Running In the running community, composed “of the estimated 24 million runners in the U.S., themajority will stop training during the year because of an injury-an injury most likely caused byimproper technique,” (Dawson-Cook). Improper training can lead to many different types ofinjuries such as shin splints, physiological strain, muscle tears and strains. These injuries canlead to runners no longer being able to run or losing skill in long distance running. To preventthese problems, athletes could learn new techniques, such as improving their form, to decreasethe chances of injury. In the future trainers or physical therapists may have new styles todecrease damages of the body. Training injuries in runners can be prevented with the knowledgeof different types of injuries, the effects they have on this sport, prevention methods, and thefuture technology available. First, many different damaging injuries are common in long distance runners. Forexample, some of the “risk factors that have been significantly related to running related injuries(RRIs) are excessive weekly running distance, previous injury, lack of running experience andcompetitive running,” (Bredeweg). Also, if runners train, large numbers of injuries are morelikely to occur. And, if a runner has a previous injury, then he has a higher risk of receiving
  2. 2. Godfrey 2another injury (Dawson-Cook). In fact, when athletes over train they get “overuse injuries whichoccur when repetitive stress is applied to a muscle, tendon, or bone, ultimately resulting inmicro-traumatic damage when adequate time to heal or repair has not been allotted,” (Kriz)Again, if runners have strenuous excessive training, they are at a higher risk of not competingdue to an overuse injury (Kriz). After athletes, especially distance runners, get an overuse injury,they need to give it time to heal or another damaged body part is most likely to occur (Bonacc).Distance runners need to take a day off during their workouts because “when applied stress is toohigh or the recovery time is too short the tissue of the musculoskeletal system will be weakenedand the likelihood of sustaining a subsequent overuse injury is high,” (Bredeweg). Interestingenough, sometimes when the human body is pushed to its maximum physical limit, tissues andtendons wear down to a stage where injuries, such as sprains and tears, can occur frequently(Bredeweg). Thus, recovery time in an athlete can be the deciding factor between a competitivevictory or loss. So, in order to stay away from different types of injuries, distance runners neednot only to keep in mind the risk factors that cause most all injuries, but also the effects of theseinjuries. Secondly, the effects of these injuries on runners result in their inability tocompete. Likewise, a distance runner can get “an injury-induced restriction in training that canresult in detraining, which may negatively affect performance, cardiorespiratory health andneuromuscular control,” (Bonacc). According to Andrew Vickers explains that soreness canresult in a poor performance, and it “typically develops 24 hours after exercise; is usuallyperceived approximately 24 hours after the exercise and may linger up to additional 48 hours.”And so, being sore from strain or muscle development can hold the runner back becausesometimes the pain is so severe that he has to take a longer break than really needed, which will
  3. 3. Godfrey 3cause a decrease in his performance (Vickers). When distance runners overwork their bodies,“physiological strain occurs when they stay on a pattern of workouts and when performance daycomes the body and brain overworks itself to do better,”(Esteve-Lanao). Also, when an athletetrains, that runner typically has a routine that he follows religiously every day. Having a setroutine like that is actually bad because the brain gets used to what it has been doing and on raceday becomes strained due to the fact that the brain is not accustomed to the workout the body iscompleting (Esteve-Lanao). Also, it seems that “nearly one-half of the athletes responding to thepostseason questionnaire reported an episode of exercise related leg pain (ERLP) during theseason, and almost all of those athletes (98%) reported a history of ERLP,”(Reinking). It provesthat, if a runner has already received an injury, it is more likely for them to continually feel thepain or receive other harsh damages. These pains and damages will affect the training process ofthe runner and potentially ruin the progress he has made (Reinking). Obviously, injuries can havedamaging effects on a runner’s potential, but there are ways to reduce the injuries athletes canincur. Most importantly, athletes can learn different prevention techniques to decrease injuries.A program that is helpful for runners is ChiRunning: “ChiRunning isnt just for distance runners,its for anyone wanting to practice injury free running,” (Dawson-Cook). ChiRunning is aprogram that teaches the runner how to align and balance the body to lower the pressure on areasand have equal pressure on all parts of the body (Dawson-Cook). Many different types ofliterature and programs teach runners to reduce the risk of injury. In fact, there are certain aspectsof the body that should be the main focus: “the six key focuses to developing a fantastic runningform are: posture, relaxing lower body, pelvic rotation, arm swings, intake of breaths, and stridelength,” (Dawson-Cook). These focuses will take stress off of the body and cause less strain and,
  4. 4. Godfrey 4therefore, fewer injuries. Thus, the six aspects are the main parts of the body that are workedwhile participating in long distance running, so changing how they are used should affect theoutcome dramatically (Dawson-Cook). Throughout studies it is shown “that humans regulatetheir effort during competition based on the anticipation or estimation of when the exercise willend,” (Esteve-Lanao). Most of the time in the human body as anticipation rises the adrenalinerises as well. When adrenaline rises it makes muscle stronger therefore, making it harder for themuscles to be damaged (Esteve-Lanao). Although there are many ways to decrease injuries, thereare still many researchers working on new and improved ways. Encouragingly, many physical therapists are working on finding new ways to decreasedamaging injuries. Many influential people can provide solutions as well; for example,“clinicians play a critical role in the education of parents, coaches, and young athletes regardingthe risk of childhood and adolescent sports injuries,” (Kriz). It is true that adults are the mostlikely to become injured because their bodies are weaker than when they were children(Kriz). Teaching children at a young age how to properly exercise and run will lead to their beingmore prepared as adults, lessening injuries. Having a “greater muscle activity prior to and in theinitial phase of ground contact may enhance running economy by increasing leg stiffness andmaximizing exploitation of stored elastic energy,” (Bonacc). Making strides harder whenrunning can decrease injuries since the leg is stiffer it is harder to break. Indeed, companies makeshoes to help the impact of the foot as it is hitting the ground (Bonacc). Some of the best “futureprospective studies could further identify variables which are most responsible for runninginjuries, and determine easily measurable variables that may correlate to these risk factors,”(Ferber). After all, there are many studies that are now being made to find ways to decreaseinjuries (Ferber). These studies are being done by professors at colleges or people with a
  5. 5. Godfrey 5profession that has to do with improving the body, for example, a physical therapist. Since thereare many new studies and helpful aspects for distance running, the injuries should decrease in thefuture. All in all, many damaging effects can happen with training and the body if training is notproperly executed. For example, physiological strain, shin splints, muscle tears and strains, makethe runner unable to train and improve their running. To help these injuries many athletes learnnews ways to run, for example, reading different types of literature. Also trainers, coaches andprofessors are trying to learn and experiment with different techniques so there are fewer injuriesin the future. These damages can be prevented by being aware of the different types of injuries,the effects they have on running, solutions to the problems, and future prevention measures.
  6. 6. Godfrey 6 Works CitedBonacc, Jason. “Neuromuscular Adaptations to Training, Injury and Passive Interventions Implications for Running Economy.” Sports Medicine. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., 1 Nov. 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < 7d014a851565%40sessionmgr104&vid=4&hid=112>.Bredeweg, Steef W. “The GRONORUN 2 Study: Effectiveness of an Ereconditioning Program on Preventing Running Related Injuries in Novice Runners. The Design of a Randomized Controlled Trial.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < b6d589cd9ef1%40sessionmgr114&vid=7&hid=106>.Dawson-Cook, Susan. “ChiRunning, Getting Smarter as You Move.” American Fitness. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., 1 Jan. 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < pdfviewer?sid=2e2bf46c-d2d0-4a0b-a8ac-d6d5977a668f%40sessionmgr115&vid=7&hid=127>.Esteve-Lanao, Jonathan. “How Do Humans Control Physiological Strain during Strenuous Endurance Exercise?” PLoS ONE. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., 2008. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < 897b444cb35b%40sessionmgr110&vid=5&hid=119>.Ferber, Reed. “A biomechanical perspective of predicting injury risk in running.” International SportMed Journal. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., June 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=e628504a-dfa4-4f03-8c2e- 872846915904%40sessionmgr4&vid=7&hid=8>.
  7. 7. Godfrey 7Kriz, Peter. “Overuse Injuries in the Young Athlete.” Medicine & Health Rhode Island. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., July 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < pdfviewer?sid=5afb17c9-10db-498c-a8e7-f03f963a0281%40sessionmgr15&vid=4&hid=113>.Reinking, Mark F. “Risk Factors for Self-Reported Exercise-Related Leg Pain in High School Cross Country Athletes.” Journal of Athletic Training. Galileo Ebscohost. N.p., 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < f84c779ab62f%40sessionmgr14&vid=4&hid=18>.Vicker, Andrew. “Time course of muscle soreness following different types of exercise.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (Fall 2001): n. pag. Galileo Ebscohost. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. < f16c486c787f%40sessionmgr13&vid=7&hid=19>.