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Endurance runners are already on the roads.

Mar 01, 2019


For many of us, it’s time for winter to be over.

So, when we see an endurance runner along the side of the road in the snow and sleet and single digits, we’re likely to wonder who’s chasing them.

Actually, this is peak off–season training time for endurance runners.

Many of my patients will run in any kind of weather, any time of year. Running is who they are, how they define themselves and a necessary component in their lives.

Close-up photo of happy sport woman checking time after workout, seaside outdoor

So when runners have an issue that keeps them from running or performing in races to their full potential, they are affected as much psychologically and emotionally as they are physically. For a runner, the goal is to improve, not simply “win the race.”

We love the challenge of working with runners.

Both our Rockford and Greenville RobinetPT clinics focus on sport orthopedic physical therapy. Endurance athletes are great to work with because the deficits that endurance athletes present can be challenging to diagnose. The nature of repetitive movement can cause small deficits. Over the length of time or distance, those deficits can develop into significant problems.  

For example, if a runner is performing at 97% of their optimal physical capacity and is running 10 miles, their 3% deficit adds up to around 600 steps in a single run. (Yes, I did the math.) 600 missteps repeated again and again over the course of a week, or month, or season add up, possibly creating dysfunction with corresponding pain and inflammation.

We all have our own pattern of running, our own training regimen, physical capacity, and goals. That is why it is vital that RobinetPT therapists observe each person’s running pattern and posture/body control, to give us clues to what joint or area of the body is weak and/or creating dysfunction. We are very specific with testing the body as these deficits typically start very small. Over time, they can have a large impact on the performance of endurance runners.

Do you think you may have a running deficit? Take this test:

  • In front of a full length mirror, stand equally on both feet.  
  • Lift one leg off the ground. Observe how your body adapts and changes to maintain balance.  
  • Repeat with the other leg. Is one side significantly different than the other? For example, does your hip pop out to the side to compensate on one leg or the other?  

That shift at the hip is quite common but can cause the foot/ankle to compensate and, over time, create “shin splints” in some cases.

Leg Injury. Woman Suffering From Pain In Leg After Workout.

A no–cost consultation can help you “Be Your Best”

If you are experiencing issues with your training runs or find yourself not improving the way you feel you should be, if you are having pain with normal run lengths and distances that you could previously do without limitations, or if you simply want to start a running program “on the right foot,” give us a call for a no–cost consultation. We’ll get you up and running and help you “Be Your Best,” whether hitting the track, trail, or road.

Jason Robinet, with his wife, Barbara, are the co–founders of Robinet Physical Therapy. Watch for his “one–on–ones” in our monthly RobinetPT newsletter on how to “Be Your Best.”