Running, running, running

Always, whatever you do, always avoid running on the side of the road. Many of the stress fractures Dr. Brad treats here at Hope Clinic are due to a patient running along the road. So what’s the problem with road running?

Running on the road is bad news

The roads we drive on are cleverly engineered to slant towards the edges. This is to prevent larger-than-life puddles of standing water from taking over our roadways. While slanted roads make for nicer driving conditions (especially after an extra long winter), this slant can also mean serious injury for athletes who run alongside the road.

You would never think of running in one shoe that's ½ inch shorter than the other shoe, now would you? That is the kind of tough impact your entire body is taking when you run on the side of the road. Plus, asphalt is extremely dense giving your body an extra hard impact from any amount of road jogging.

Don’t be afraid to change it up

If you find yourself on vacation or weekend getaway where your only location option is to run on the road, Dr. Brad recommends promptly abandoning your hopes of running that day. Instead get out and enjoy where you are. Grab your hiking boots, hit the pool or lake for a swim, go for a long walk in the woods, etc. You get the idea.

For consistent runners, change is good. Try training on a converted railroad path (these are typically nice, consistently flat surfaces). Test yourself on a grassy hill. Give dirt trail running a try or head over to use the track at the local high school. You’ve got options! Treadmills can be convenient, but keep in mind that treadmill running doesn’t help you build strong bone density.

One last thing, if you are running in any outdoor races on paved roads this year, do yourself a favor: run in the middle of the road.

From the pelvis, to the ankle, to the foot – Dr. Brad treats all kinds of road-running related stress fractures. Bring all your running questions (and even your running shoes) to your next appointment with Dr. Brad!

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