Most running related injuries are overuse in nature and reflect the athlete’s decision to do too much too soon or too little for too long. Despite the significant risk reduction of a running related injury with strength training many runners continue to forgo this important component of a balance weekly training program. This form of exercise is one of our best defenses, in addition to controlling training volume, against overuse injuries by helping build more resilient and less symptomatic tissues in the body. Researchers have recently begun to look into the benefits of foot intrinsic (core) strengthening for a variety of conditions including plantar fasciitis, plantar heel pain, and running injuries.
Authors in The American Journal of Sports Medicine published the results of a foot ankle strengthening program on rates of running related injuries (Taddei et al. 2020). They randomized 118 runners to either the strengthening program or a control group. The exercise group completed a 8 week supervised program followed by online home exercises. All runners were tracked over a 12 month period for development of any running related injuries. Authors reported runners in the control group were twice as likely to experience an injury compared to their trained peers.