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973741 tn?1342346373

Over use injury from sports training

We debate in our house.  My son is a runner and INTO it.  It's his thing.  He started training for cross country in June and his season ended end of October. He ran 5 to 6 days a week that whole period.  He's been off for a week and in another week from now (so will be off two weeks total), his team starts "winter training".  Five to Six days a week running as a group.  Most do distance track together in the spring and my son will be doing that too.  Anyway, he puts on an immense amount of miles.  His coach and teammates all participate.  But you know . . . will he have any knees left by the time he is 20?  :>))
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Avatar universal
Mom, is he running cross country in cross country terrain, or on hard pavement, or on a track?  Is he used to walking around and playing barefoot, or has he always worn heavily padded shoes?  Does he also work on strength -- it sounds like it would be hard to cross-train with so many running days.  But true cross country, and I know they don't do this anymore in a lot of places, used to be a lot of running on dirt and grass -- thus the name cross country.  In the end, nobody knows how strong their body is until it breaks.  If he keeps this up, it could be knees, hips, and plantar fasciitis, ACL, all sorts of things, but cross country is probably less stressful than basketball or football or soccer.  But it could be those things from doing squats, too.  Vigorous exercise comes with injury.  Age comes with deterioration.  Distance runners, especially marathoners, have some correlation with increased heart problems as they age.  I don't think you can protect him, if it isn't this, if he's into athletic activity, it will be something else.  The one thing he can do is work on foot strength, which is why I asked about shoes and surface he's running on.  I know a runner, he's the head of the local running club, he's been running for years, he's old, and he's been running on hard surfaces, he ran everywhere -- I mean, the guy even ran to work.  Never saw him out of running clothes even though he's a very successful software programmer.  Don't think he ever had an injury.  You just can't tell.  Don't think he started that young, though.
973741 tn?1342346373
Well, cross country training starting last June was pretty varied day to day.  Tempo runs on the track, springs on the track, running on trails and side walks, running through fields, running through fields bare foot, hills and lots of core conditioning.  He wasn't very big on stretching.  Their cool down was a 2 mile run.  His coach was a track/field and cross country runner at Auburn.  Not shabby.  And he is young and has produced in his 5 years at the school a pretty successful CC team. We buy running shoes on a regular basis so he always has good shoes.  So far, other than some sore calves occasionally and possibly sore hamstring, he's not had any complaints. But you know . . .  you think about the future.  

2 Comments
springs is sprints.
Mom, I think he'll be okay.  That's not a bad mix of training, and the barefoot running will strengthen his feet while he's still young.  Let him go barefoot as much as possible, padded shoes weaken the  foot.  I wouldn't run on hard stuff without them, though -- the minimalist shoes are really only good for people who are used to it and have built up their muscles.  But something involving stretching, such as pilates, would be nice.  Or martial arts -- tons of stretching in that too, plus a lot of emphasis on movement.  Sort of like dancing without the foot destruction.  But as you describe it, he's not just repeating the same stuff over and over, there's variety, there's foot strengthening, and you know, he's athletic, he's going to do something.  Be grateful it's not football.  
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