True or False: Injuries are a part of running.

That was the first question I asked running coach Jason Fitzgerald during a recent interview, which I’ve shared the full 35 minute version of below.

I asked the question fully expecting that I knew exactly what his answer would be.  “Of course not,” I thought he would to say.  After all, Jason dedicated an entire year of his blog to being an injury-free runner.

But Jason didn’t do what I expected. Here’s part of his answer to that first question:

True.  As human beings, we are so good at pushing ourselves harder, further, and faster than our bodies are designed to do. … Rarely are you going to find a runner who’s never had some type of injury at some point in their career.  Let’s design the best training we can and make injury prevention a focus so that we can minimize your chances of getting injured.

True? The answer surprised me.

I wanted him to tell me that injuries aren’t a part of running, and that they’re just for people who make mistakes or don’t know what they’re doing.  But he didn’t.  And I’m glad he didn’t.

Because Jason is right.

Running injuries don’t just develop when we mess up.  Instead they happen when we quit focusing on the right things:

  • The right training tools.
  • The right exercises.
  • The right stretches.

Injuries are a part of a running, but injuries don’t have to be a part of your running.

Which is exactly why Jason just launched a new program called Injury Prevention for Runners, and why I wanted to interview him for this post.

Knowing How to Injury-Proof Your Training Plan

I’ve been running injury free for more than three years.  And yes, I’m knocking as hard as a can on the largest piece of wood I can find as I say that.

I remember, clear as day, my last injury, which kept me from running a single mile for nearly three weeks.  It was the summer before the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon, when I jumped straight into training after taking most of the winter off.

One month later, my knee hurt so bad I couldn’t get through a mile.  The problem was an obvious one.  I quit focusing on proper mileage progression, and went at it far too hard.

Since then I’ve followed one single rule, which I credit for keeping me healthy: Be consistent.

But it’s more than just being consistent.  It’s being consistent when it comes to the right things.

InjuryKnowing the right things to do is where Jason excels.  Which is the #1 reason why I’ve been following his blog religiously for the past few years and why, after reviewing his new Injury Prevention for Runners program, I feel great about recommending it to others.

If you don’t know Jason Fitzgerald, the dudes a beast.  He’s a 2:39 marathoner, USATF certified coach, and author behind the sites Strength Running and Run Your BQ which he runs with Matt Frazier.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions, and hearing firsthand the amount of running knowledge he can drop as if he was just talking about the weather.  Oh, and he’s the author of one of RCR’s most popular guest posts (which also happens to be on injury prevention).

I decided the best way to share the expert advice from Jason was to give you access to the full 35 minute interview.

Listen to the interview through the player below, or download the interview here by right clicking link and selecting “save link as.”

[audio http://www.thehaysay.com/rockcreekrunner/injury_prevention_interview.mp3 ]

In the interview we discuss:

  • Why it’s important for runners to preemptively train for injuries.
  • How our lifestyles outside of running contribute to major running injuries.
  • Strategically increasing mileage to avoid overuse.
  • Strength exercises used by Jason himself.
  • Decoding the copious amounts of well-meaning but incorrect running advice.
  • The importance of dynamic stretching.
  • Minimalist vs. maximalist shoes and why there isn’t a clear winner.

It goes deep and taps into an incredible amount of useful takeaways all runners can start using immediately.

Bonus Offer + Answering Your Questions

Because I somehow fooled him into thinking it was a good idea, Jason has graciously offered a bonus for anyone who purchases the Injury Prevention for Runners program (any level).

If you send me a copy of your receipt, I’ll send you a copy of Office Hours with Coach Jason, a collection of 7 videos covering everything from weight loss to fueling techniques during a run.  It’s an awesome bonus, which I’m really happy he was willing to share.

Pick up your copy of the Injury Prevention for Runners program here.

And on top of that, Jason has offered to answer any of your questions left in the comments below.  So go ahead and share you’re injury concerns and questions!

Photo Credit

Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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One thought on “Injury Free Running Isn’t Just a Myth: Interview with Coach Jason Fitzgerald

  1. GREAT article. My initial response was “No, injuries are not a part of running.” But, the way you and Jason explain it here, I can definitely see your point. Injuries do not HAVE to be a part of running when the proper training is put into place.

    I suffer from ITBS so I know this road all too well!

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