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Top Tips For Runners!

With the City2Surf finished, now we are on our way to the Sydney Running Festival with many more races on the horizon for the new year! With so many varied points of training I thought I would run through just a few general tips and facts I have learnt from treating 100’s of running injuries:

  1. Step Count…  counts a lot!!!

In the age of smartwatches and smartphones, counting your cadence (steps per minute) is easier than ever! In a study by Heiderscheit et al proved that even a 5% increase in step rate can lead to a 20% reduction in energy absorption at the level of the knee. To simplify… less load can lead to less pain! So many people with knee pain experienced such a chance in symptoms with just this one little tip!

  1. Strength, strength … STRENGTH

I would say that almost 90% of the injured runners that come into the clinic do NOT do strength training. Do not get me wrong it is not the be-all and end-all of injury prevention but it will always help! It can build a runner’s capacity, performance, running economy… the list goes on!

  1. Constancy is good… until a point…

As well as a lack of strength training, a lot of the time I see runners pushing themselves too hard too quick! Here are my quick tips:

  • Start small, little runs gradually working up to the bigger distances you want to do
  • If needed, take a rest day off! At the end of the day it’s your body and you know it best. If you feel you need a day off… Take it!
  1. Running will NOT wear out yours knees

Now this one I have heard so many times! There is very high quality to suggest that running can often help prevent and treat knee osteoarthritis. Often a time pain is caused by muscle imbalances rather than the joint itself.

These are just a few little tips and tricks I have picked up along the way but appreciate it can be quite confusing. If you have any questions about any of these points, please reach out to any of our Physiotherapists!


Heiderscheit BC, Chumanov ES, Michalski MP, Wille CM, Ryan MB. Effects of step rate manipulation on joint mechanics during running. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Feb;43(2):296-302. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181ebedf4. PMID: 20581720; PMCID: PMC3022995.

Ben Cunningham

Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree from Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. After a move down to NSW, he has now joined the Bend + Mend Team and works at both Martin Place and Barangaroo clinics. Ben has a particular special interest in treating lower back pain (with referred pain) and running lower limb injuries and always uses the most up to date scientific evidence to assist his patient in reach their full potential. He is intrigued with how the body works and enjoys observing people and their movement patterns to help identify the root cause of complex pain. In his personal time Ben enjoys going to the gym and long distance running. He is also loves heading to the beach and finding new experiences around Sydney!

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