Heather Casey from Peak State Fit, a Sports Performance and wellness studio in Utah, came to Good Things Utah to talk about the benefits of running and how to stay safe while doing so. It is estimated that 80% of recreational runners experience an injury.

Running can benefit your cardiovascular health and body composition but comes with risk of injuries. “Running is so accessible because it’s affordable. All we need is a pair of shoes and we can get out the door. About 50 to 75% of all running injuries appear to be overuse injuries due to the constant repetition of the same movement. Most running injuries are lower extremity injuries, with a predominance for the knee. Secondary to knee pain, the feet can experience debilitating plantar fasciitis. Many runners also do not rest their bodies when they need to which can create even more damage and pain. Fortunately, Casey has the best tips to prevent injuries and damage to the body. 

Forward lean: Many people feel inclined to run in an upright position but Casey suggests adding a lean to run. Vertical running can strain your body and overstride it. All of the force can come into ankles, knees, hips and even back. It can create a ripple effect and the slight position shift will help you.

Ground Contact Time: Casey says the cadence is important to have a run cadence over 180. It is not how fast your pace is but how fast your feet turn over. This calculates how many times your right and left foot touch the ground. 

The final tip is vertical oscillation, how much you are leaving the ground with each run or stride. Staying close to the ground is what keeps you safe. Casey said running is something everyone can do. 

Casey’s Instagram: @HeatherCasey_CSCS 

Peak Fit Instagram: @peakstatefit