The Inside Run – 2017 vol. 5

Front Runner Sports are pleased to present a practical, monthly summary of recent research relevant to distance runners. Our expert team will pick their highlights from the previous month to give YOU The Inside Run on how new and practical research can assist you to beat YOUR best. Please see our summary below!



  1. When injured, what is the best solution? Education!

Running injuries are very prevalent amongst recreational runners (~50% of runners are inured every year). Many runners are either unaware of or neglect injury prevention strategies (load management, extra sleep/recovery, S&C, variation etc.) until they suffer an injury. Patellofemoral pain or “runners knee” is the most common running injury and this study looked into different methods of rehabilitation to investigate what would be the most effective: education, or a combination of education with either exercise prescription or gait retraining. The interesting finding was that whilst the exercise and gait groups improved in their respective focus areas (strength & cadence), they didn’t significantly improve symptoms or functional limitations vs. education alone. This reflects the overwhelming influence of training loads on injury (even if you have sufficient strength and optimal biomechanics, if your training load is too high, you will still get injured). So if you are a runner looking to reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury, ensure you seek education from a reputable source (Sports Physiotherapist, Accredited Coach or Sports Physician) to learn what the major risk factors for injury are for you and how you can implement strategies to prevent them.

Read the full paper HERE


  1. Identifying Prospective Risk Factors for Injury

The study above highlighted the importance of monitoring training loads to prevent risk of injury in runners. However, if we look at a population where high training loads are inevitable, the NCAA XC system, are there biological risk factors that would indicate a runner would be at a heightened risk of suffering an injury that season? This research found that there were two biomechanical variables associated with injury; peak knee adduction moments (excessive force moving the knee inwards during stance) and peak ankle eversion velocity (how quickly pronation occurs during weight acceptance). This makes sense given these movements indicate that the body is not able to effectively deal with the loads presented, leading to overload at the tissue level with high training loads and therefore injury. So as well as monitoring training loads, employing targeted strength training to help the body deal with these loads is another crucial factor in preventing running injuries

Read the full paper HERE as well as a great summary from leading running injury authority, Craig Payne HERE


  1. Treadmill vs. Outdoors for Short Interval Training

Treadmill vs. over-ground running is a regularly researched topic and a common source of debate amongst runners about what is easier/harder. This study looked into how the body’s physiology responded to a series of short (30s) VO2 max efforts being performed on the treadmill vs. outside. A 15min protocol of 30s on/off was significantly easier on the treadmill, with the researchers finding that runners would have to complete the 30s efforts 15% FASTER on the treadmill to get the same physiological response to the outdoor session (this was in addition to the commonly employed 1% gradient to counteract the lack of air resistance). One would imagine the acceleration and deceleration associated with over-ground running induces more fatigue for the same top speed, but from our perspective it’s just another reason to enjoy your running in the great outdoors 😉

Read the paper HERE


  1. Foot Movement In-Shoe

Footwear prescription for runners has typically involved assessing the movement of the rear foot in the frontal plane (from the back). One concern with this form of assessment has always been the idea that the foot would move within the shoe due to the high forces of running. This research looked at in-shoe movement of the heel bone in two different shoes (support & neutral) in all 3 planes. Whilst the motion of the foot and shoe matched in the frontal plane, there was significant motion from the heel within the shoe in both the sagittal and transverse plane in both footwear conditions. When assessing the different shoe conditions, the support shoe did show less rear foot eversion in the frontal plane, but did not show significant differences in the other two planes. This reinforces the need for footwear prescription to not be solely based on rear foot assessment in the frontal plane, as it is not indicative of the movement of the foot. More and more research is validating the use of comfort as an effective tool to ensure increased running performance and reduced risk of injury.

Read the article HERE


  1. Running Injuries Podcast

For those that love to listen to research, the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) have released a great podcast that summarises some of the information covered at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) annual meeting earlier this year. The topics covered include common mistakes made by rec runners as well as running biomechanics and footwear – enjoy!

Listen HERE


Running Regards,

Team Front Runner