Course Review: New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries

Running-Clinic-Logo-cropThis past weekend in Toronto, I attended The Running Clinic’s 2 day seminar, “New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries”. I had taken this course in 2011 in West Virginia and was impressed back then, so I thought I would take it again. After all, when the title has the words “New Trends”, that would mean that there should be different content than 4 years ago, right?
I’m happy to report that it was, in fact, different than 4 years ago. Not that the course 4 years ago was bad! I’m merely pointing out that there have been significant studies and literature reviews in the past 4 years, and The Running Clinic has been committed to keeping their course up to date on the latest research.

The course was lead by JF Esculier (@JFEsculier on Twitter) and Greg Lehman (@GregLehman on Twitter). JF is a physio and a PhD candidate in patellofemoral pain.  Greg is a physio, chiro, kinesiologist and has done his fair share of research. They both can instantly reference the index of authors and research papers in their minds. In other words, they are both walking PubMed index machines, so if you’re going to ask a question or try and counter one of their statements, you’d better know your stuff! That was probably the best part of the course – they encourage free speaking and questions. Best of all, if you say something stupid, wrong or more politely, implausible, they very gently steer you back to reality. It isn’t contentious at all and so many people felt very comfortable in asking questions.

The course included a good mix of research-based statements as well as theoretical discussions on running mechanics, stretching, orthotics, shoes, hydration, training, mechanical stress quantification and other topics. Equally important was the good amount of practical demonstrations on taping, strengthening, running gait evaluation and running form drills.

Below, I’ve included a pic of the basic principles of the mechanical adaptation to stress.mechanical-stress-quantification
In attendance was a mix of physiotherapists, chiropractors, coaches and athletic trainers. Basically, any healthcare professional can take the course and you don’t need to be a runner or someone well versed in running injuries or research. If there was a term or concept that someone didn’t understand, Greg or JF were more than willing to spell it out in more basic terms. On the other hand, I consider myself pretty well up to date with the vast majority of research regarding running injuries, running mechanics, tendon rehab etc., yet I came out of the seminar realizing that I knew less than I had thought. In that light, there is a great mix of info for healthcare providers new to the running research or those who thought they were well versed in the topic.

Along with the knowledge and the practical ideas and techniques that you can implement on Monday after the seminar, you also get a book, a manual and a USB key with all of the power point slides. All attendants also get their names put up on The Running Clinic website which gets 46 million hits per year. So any runner looking for a healthcare provider can easily use the geolocator on the website

My only criticism of the course is that there was a lot of research presented at the beginning that didn’t seem to have a direction. That being said, all of that research was tied into the practical implications later on during the weekend.

In the end, I think this is a great seminar and I would highly recommend it to any heathcare provider who works with runners. However, it should not just be limited to those who work with runners. The tendon loading principles as well as the mechanical stress quantification ideas can be applied to all sorts of non-running injuries.
If you’d like to sign up for a class near you, check out The Running Clinic’s Website here.