Who doesn’t want to run pain free? The title of this book definitely caught my attention. I had the opportunity to read You Can Run Pain Free!: A Physio’s 5 Step Guide to Enjoying Injury-free and Faster Running by Brad Beer and I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you. I’ve had my share of pain while running during the last several years and any tips to help prevent that pain from returning are more than welcomed. Unfortunately I think that the general thought among the running community is that running in pain is just part of running, it’s inevitable at some point. This book however gives readers a five step approach to running pain and injury free. The author Brad Beer is a Physiotherapist in Australia. For us Americans, a Physiotherapist is similar to what we would call a Physical Therapist but with some distinct differences. A runner himself, Brad knows the importance running has in runners’ lives and how not being able to run due to an injury (or running in pain) can negatively affect your life and your overall well being. I will not be giving away the five steps that this book covers, for that you will have to read the book yourself. But I will say that I find that the steps Brad recommends are very reasonsable and realistic for a “recreational” (“non-elite”) runner such as myself. I could tell early on in the book that he really does care about all of us running pain free. He even provides a link to a running screening you can do to get this whole process started. At the end of each chapter there are case studies that help to reinforce the content that is covered. The case scenarios are very helpful in understanding how the steps are put into action in the real world, making it easier for us to apply them to our own running. One particular section early in the book that I found interesting was the review of the most common running injuries and their causes. Not surprisingly there are a few causes such as tight muscles or a sudden increase in training load, that seem to be listed under most of the injuries. This may seem obvious but clearly not obvious enough if they continue to contribute to many running related injuries. There are many practical tips in the book and one that Brad gives is in terms of deciding when to replace running shoes. Aside from those that are discussed most often, such as overall mileage or duration of time spent running in that shoe, Brad recommends purchasing two shoes and rotating between them. That way when one starts to wear down and needs replacing it may be more obvious since we have another shoe we are consistently comparing it to. Other pearls of wisdom that Brad shares include tips on running hills (both up and down), some of which I found I was already doing unintentionally and others which I think I can do a better job at incorporating into my trail running such as fighting the urge to lean back when running downhill. The book is for anyone who runs, regardless of weekly mileage, speed or your perceived ability. Brad shares helpful information for all of us, whether you have dealt with pain or injury in the past or are currently going through something like that or even if you have not and are wanting to prevent that from being something you experience.
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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.