Top tips for avoiding injury from running


Middle distance running, covering distances like the 800m to the 5,000m, requires a unique blend of speed and endurance. This combination can put a lot of stress on your body, leading to a higher risk of injury if you’re not careful. Whether you’re an experienced runner or just getting started, avoiding injury should be a top priority. Here are some practical tips to help you stay healthy and keep running strong.

1. Warm-Up and Cool Down Properly

One of the simplest yet most overlooked aspects of injury prevention is a proper warm-up and cool down. Before you start your run, take at least 10-15 minutes to warm up your muscles and joints. This can include light jogging, dynamic stretches, and mobility exercises. After your run, cool down with 10 minutes of easy jogging or walking, followed by static stretches focusing on your calves, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes.

2. Build Mileage Gradually

A common mistake among middle distance runners is increasing mileage or intensity too quickly. To avoid overuse injuries, follow the 10% rule: increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% from one week to the next. This gradual approach allows your body to adapt and reduces the risk of stress fractures, shin splints, and other overuse injuries.

3. Focus on Strength Training

Strength training is crucial for middle distance runners. It helps build muscle endurance, improves running form, and reduces the risk of injury. Focus on exercises that target your legs, and hips. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, planks, and hip bridges are all excellent choices. Aim for two to three sessions per week to maintain muscle strength and balance.

4. Prioritize Rest and Recovery

Your body needs time to recover between intense workouts. Make sure you incorporate rest days into your training schedule to allow your muscles to heal and rebuild. Consider adding active recovery activities like yoga, swimming, or cycling to stay active without overloading your muscles and joints. Don’t forget about sleep—it plays a vital role in recovery and overall performance.

5. Wear Proper Footwear

The right shoes can make a significant difference in your running experience. Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for shoes that suit your foot type, running style, and training needs. Proper footwear helps prevent blisters, plantar fasciitis, and other foot-related injuries. Remember to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles, as worn-out shoes lose their cushioning and support.

6. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body feels during and after runs. If you notice persistent pain, discomfort, or unusual fatigue, it’s essential to address it early. Ignoring warning signs can lead to more severe injuries. If you have concerns, consult a sports physiotherapist or healthcare professional for advice.

7. Vary Your Training

Middle distance runners often focus on speed and endurance, but variety is key to avoiding injury. Mix up your workouts with cross-training, intervals, tempo runs, and long runs at an easy pace. This variation reduces repetitive stress on the same muscles and joints, lowering the risk of overuse injuries.


Injury prevention should be a core part of your training strategy as a middle distance runner. By warming up and cooling down properly, building mileage gradually, focusing on strength training, prioritizing rest, wearing proper footwear, listening to your body, and varying your training, you’ll significantly reduce your risk of injury. Stay consistent with these tips, and you’ll be on your way to running strong and injury-free. Happy running!

If you have been unlucky and sustained an injury running, we can help. All our physios are experts in musculoskeletal care and will be able to help you, whether that is advice on pain relief and reducing swelling, stretches, strength exercises, strapping or bracing, shockwave therapy or acupuncture, or onward referral. 

If you want more information, please email us at [email protected] or phone on 0131 4784646, or book an appointment online. 

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