With just six weeks remaining until the Greater Clarksburg 10K, the subject at the weekly 10 weeks to the 10K program was overuse injuries. The guest speaker, UHC physical therapist Jason Posey, spoke to the group about overtraining, how it effects them and preventative measures to make sure they don't "overdo it" before the big race.
"Less experienced runners are going to be a lot more likely to overtrain and therefore set themselves up for injury," Posey said.
One of those injuries is joggers toe, caused by doing too much downhill running.
"Actually they saw it a lot in southern California, and in this area with all the hills the conditions are perfect," Posey said. "It is a nail plate injury where the toe nail actually dies and turns black. Basically for it the only thing you can do is rest, ice and take anti-inflammatory drugs."
Another common problem for runners is IT band syndrome. It is the "most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners with an occurrence as high as 12 percent." One symptom of the syndrome is a sharp burning pain running from hip to knee. Causes of ITBS are overtraining, running on hard surfaces too much, weak hip musculature and riding bikes with the seat too low.
To prevent these and other injuries, Posey recommends the cautious approach.
"Don't go at it too hard, too fast," he said. "Start early. It takes six to eight weeks to get true strength gains. Anything less and your nervous system is making the adaptations. Don't run the same direction all the time so you can make sure each side of your feet gets the same amount of stress. If you know you have tight hamstrings for example, you need to stretch for at least 30 seconds at a time."
Posey also pointed out that proper running technique can cut down on body wear, while shoes and proper nutrition are also keys to healthy running.
"The most overlooked aspect of running is rest," Posey said. "I had a sports psychology professor tell me that sometimes it takes more courage to do less. That's the best statement I have ever heard because sometimes all that pushing yourself doesn't work. In fact, you are making yourself worse.
Next week the subject will be race strategy and technique."
Sports writer Shawn Yonker can be reached at 626-1444.