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Performance vs. Injury Prevention

A few days ago I received my copy of Becoming a Supple Leopard. Tonight I finally had the chance to sit down and start reading it and holy cow, is it a lot of information to take in! But I love it.

I’d like to share some thoughts after reading the first chapter:

I look at any training (weights, dynamic stretching, etc.) other than running as injury prevention. Something to keep me running a little longer and with a little less pain. ย Being the hard headed Taurus I am, in my mind, when I’m not injured, I’m not doing it. (And that would be a fail on my part.) But I know I should be doing these things, all for the sake of preventing an injury. Right?

Here is a simple shift in this view, proposed my Starrett, that kind of has me rethinking my thought process… Training for performance, not for injury prevention.

What if we looked at the weight training and functional exercises as increasing performance and not preventing injuries? What if we understood how proper overhead squats translated into better running economy? And what if we understood how addressing our limited range of motion would allow for a more efficient stride, while also preventing our tendonitis that continues to plague us? For me personally, I might be doing a few more squats, varying the intensity, varying the reps, sprinting before (or after), all in an effort to discover weaknesses. And I would be doing it to increase my performance, not preventing an injury. (But luckily, fewer injuries just may come second.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

I like this quote from the book:

“Athletes are both greedy and smart – greedy in that they will do whatever it takes to get better in the shortest amount of time possible, and smart in that they will absolutely repeat specific practices and interventions that improve their performance or take away their pain. ” –Becoming a Supple Leopard

How do you look at the training that you do other than running? As injury prevention or increasing performance? I’ve always been an injury prevention thinker. I think it’s time for a paradigm shift.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think I do x-training for injury prevention as well as increasing performance depending on how much I want to actually *do* the exercise. If I am motivated to do weights, I do it for increasing performance. If I’m not really into going for a swim, I remind myself that it’s injury prevention. I think what this comes down to is motivation.
    You are doing the same training and ‘basically’ getting the same result, but it’s the paradigm shift in your focus that creates a better space for you to do the non-running activities. A good coach (as well as a smart teacher interested in how her brain works and how she can be a better runner) will find that right source of motivation to keep the training going.
    Great post!

    September 8, 2013
    • Your comments always make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚ You are absolutely right – it more or less the same thing but the thought process is a little different. When I think about increasing my performance, I am way more willing to do something than when I am thinking injury prevention. The mind works in mysterious ways like that… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope all is well!!!!

      September 11, 2013

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