Welcome to the Endurance without Injury Series on the SSO blog!

This series is a great educational tool for athletes who are just starting to train for an endurance event. Endurance events can be anything from a 5k to an ultra marathon depending on your level of athletic conditioning. The information you will find here is valuable for any endurance event and any conditioning level.

The Endurance and Injury Relationship

Many runners experience overuse injuries from common training mistakes during endurance training. The motions of running primarily take place in the frontal plane (flexion and extension through the joints like a bicep curl) and require the body to do the same repetitive motion over and over again. The friction from repetitive stress can cause Injury in any stage of training, and is often exacerbated by lack of stretching, poor foot wear or increasing mileage too quickly. Those overtraining mistakes can result in foot pain, knee pain and hip pain syndromes that deter you from your training goals, or worse, stop you all together! Fortunately there are ways to reduce the risk of over use injuries at every stage of your training by adhering to a few training guidelines. This series will take you through how to train for an endurance event without injuries using these 6 segments:

Segment 1: Base Training

Segment 2: Warm Up and Cross Training

Segment 3: Cool Down and Stretching

Segment 4: Progression Rules

Segment 5: Targeted Training

Segment 6: Choose your Gear

Base Endurance

If you are in the base training phase, you don’t have to worry about distance and pace yet. This is the time where you focus on building an aerobic endurance “base” before starting a real structured training schedule for a specific distance or time. It is crucial to take it nice and easy during this time to focus on form and weeding out any problem biomechanical problems. Base training includes just a few runs during the week mixed with strength and weight lifting. No where else in your endurance training will you be able to continue weight lifting at the same capacity as before. Remember, weight lifting and endurance training are two different energy systems and, while not totally mutually exclusive, they cannot be maximized at the same time. In other words, you cannot get big and strong, but also lean and fast at the same time. Some well known coaches will advocate variation and volume increase during a 6-12 week base, but I favor a stable and consistent base with focus split evenly between aerobic endurance and muscle balance.

Chose your 4 week base

Here is how to choose your 4 week base before starting a structured training program. A base run should be a longer run at an easier tempo at least 3 times a week. Go out and run at conversational level, about 50 % of max effort, and see how many miles you can sustain. That mile number becomes your low base. Shoot for that mile plus one, and keep the 50% of max pace for each run during this four week sessions.

Be sure to review the rest of the series to learn how to warm up and cool down after a base run for best results, how to choose the correct shoes, and progress toward targeted training.

If you are training for an event and you feel like you could use a little more support, book a consultation with an SSO coach today for a personalized program !