Stitch

Continual Injuries in Runner Resolved with Stride & Cadence Retraining

What is your story about?
I'm 45 years old. Since I was a teenager, I've been injuring myself from running. In the last several years, I've finally been injury free as a result of retraining my running stride and cadence. Focusing on proper form has been key for me in preventing further injuries.
What is your injury history with running?
I was ready to give up running because of injuries. No knee issues but I'd always get shin splints, twisted ankles and pulled hamstring tendons. I got injured running even when I was a teenager in HS XC and track. I was over-striding back then, too, and the only thing youth ever did for me then was I'd get injured after 3-4 months (missed several state meets that way). Once I hit my 30s and tried running with that horrible form I'd end up injured in 3-4 weeks.
What did you do to reduce the recurrence of injuries?
For me it all came down to form: I ran with a low cadence and over-strides. Guaranteed injury. All the strength training in the world won't matter if you're landing your feet in front of you pounding your joints into dust and leaping inefficiently from step-to-step. Get your feet under you and pick up that cadence. Since I finally figured out how to do that I've started to really doubt the conventional wisdom that running=injury. I'm 45 and haven't been forced to stop running due to injury for 6 years.
Any advice for fellow runners?
Running is not walking. Very key distinction. Avoid thinking of running as identical to walking except for leaping between steps. That results exactly in damaging over-strides with a slow cadence. Walking is all about long, slow strides. Running is all about short, quick steps. Sure: fast runners have a long stride. That's only because they're fast. They still land their feet under their center-of-mass. If you try to take long strides you'll remain a slow, injured runner.