An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Proper running techniques help prevent injury

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jon DuMond
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
The ability to run is an important part of a servicemember's physical capabilities.

The form and movement an individual uses when running can have a significant effect on running efficiency, especially when timed. With the advent of minimalist running and the use of thinner soled shoes that simulate barefoot running, individuals may not know how to transition from regular running shoes to those that offer less support.

These issues led Garry Capers, 17th Training Wing Exercise Physiologist, to hold a class on running biomechanics.

"Humans are built for running," Mr. Capers said. "Running is a natural movement pattern."

But it was evident to him that something was wrong with how people were running. Mr. Capers noted that 80 percent of the people he advises had some sort of running related injury or experienced pain while running.

"Biomechanics is crucial for injury prevention and running efficiency," he said.

Mr. Capers wanted to present possible solutions that allow everyone to return to pain-free running.

"The class was geared to discuss the relationships between running form, footwear types, joint strength and flexibility," he said. "Joint movements and the effects of obesity on the joints were brought up as well."

The class consisted of running form demonstrations for traditional and minimalist running styles. Mr. Capers spoke about running programs for those interested in transitioning from traditional running shoes to minimalist running shoes. He also discussed and demonstrated Self Myofascial Release exercises. A technique where direct pressure or tension on a muscle helps to reduce pain and soreness.

Mr. Capers' main concern was getting the word out about preventing running injuries.

"Heel or rear-foot impact is the prime cause for injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints and runner's knee," he said.

Master Sgt. Christopher Norci, the 17th Security Forces Squadron's First Sergeant, attended the class to learn about how to prevent running injuries.

"I signed up to do the Air Force Half Marathon in September and want to make sure I am properly preparing," he said.

Mr. Capers advises those who are running pain-free to stay on your current routine, but if they are experiencing pain, he recommends they seek medical attention from a health care provider.

For more information or questions, please contact the base Health and Wellness Center.