Mark Klion MD, orthopedist, ironman triathlete, FAMI faculty member and author of the newly published ”Triathlon Anatomy,” discusses the next kinectED workshop, Pilates Rehab for the Runner, and his views on conditioning & injury prevention for runners.
Do you find that a lack of core strength in runners can lead to injuries? Or at the least affect their performance?
Core strength has become the buzzword in injury prevention and performance training. Understanding the components of core strength and how it stabilizes our bodies’ mechanics and lays the foundation for force generation is essential in maximizing our athletic endeavors. Most individuals concentrate on isolated strength training and fail to realize that a very coordinated series of muscle actions enables someone to swim, bike, run, or play soccer, etc. Weakness in the core leads to overcompensation and overuse of other muscle groups and opens the door for the development of overuse injuries.
Would you attribute a runner’s ability to bounce back from over-training to flexibility or biomechanics?
Flexibility is an important concept when it comes to injury prevention and treatment. Range of flexibility varies from body to body. What’s important is not whether you are able to touch your toes but that your muscles, tendons, and ligaments can accommodate your body’s needs. As we become more mature our relative flexibility decreases. Stiffness in any joint can cause compensatory alterations in other joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments that may lead to injury. For example, mild hip tightness and subsequent decreased range of motion can cause stress and injury to other joints in the legs.
In this workshop, what information will attendees take away that is immediately applicable to their running client?
Attendees will have the opportunity to better understand the anatomy of the lower extremity and it’s physiology with regard to running. A thorough description of the mechanics of sports-related injuries and possible treatment options will be discussed. Ample time is allotted for open discussion to address concerns about specific injuries and treatments.
As a multi-sport competitive athlete what do you think is the key to injury prevention?
I think the key to injury prevention is multifactorial, starting with planning of training, proper execution of each workout, proper recovery from exercise (often overlooked), injury recognition and the maturity to address the problem.
Do you think Pilates is an effective cross training modality for runners? Why?
Pilates is an ideal technique to cross train runners against injury because of its emphasis on balance and functional motion and stability.
You recently authored the text “Triathlon Anatomy“; why do you find anatomy education so important?
When an athlete or instructor is able to understand what structures in the body create motion and function then it becomes second nature that a healthy body is developed through conditioning and flexibility training.
How important are balanced biomechanics in the weight bearing athlete (specifically in runners)?
Symmetry and balance are essential to runners. Running is a single leg sport. At no time during the running cycle are both feet on the ground at the same time. It is of vital importance that the core musculature be strong enough to support the running phase of foot impact to push off and maintain a stable platform for force transmission and stable alignment.