THE RELUCTANT RUNNER: How can I avoid injuries at Parkrun?

Danny Brunton
Danny Brunton

Having never run before, my biggest injury worry in the past has been getting writer’s cramp from too much shorthand.

However, pretty soon, I am going to have to move from the gym to the great outdoors, and I’m worried that I could easily pull, tweak, twist or strain something I shouldn’t.

Luckily, I know just the man to help me out. I’ve written about Danny Brunton for many years in the sports pages of the Free Press, because not only has he been a great full back for Bridlington Town, he is also one of the most accomplished runners in our area.

For his day job, he is specialist lower limb physiotherapist at the new Consortium Physiotherapy in Hull.

Danny said: “Running is a great way to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it can have its pitfalls.

“Research has demonstrated new runners are up 2.5 times more likely to get injured.

“The safest way to begin is having a little understanding on what causes injuries and how to prevent them. There is lots of conflicting information out there on aspects such as warm ups/cool downs, stretching and what type of shoes to wear.

“However, the biggest cause of injury is what we call ‘excessive loading’.

“All of our bodies have joints/muscles/tendons which have built a level of tolerance over time, a safe zone if you’d like, but if you ask your body to do too much too soon, this is when injury can occur.

“An example of this is if you can run one mile and then you suddenly start running five miles. Therefore the key to preventing injury is to gradually build and increase your ‘safe zone’.

“So the most important thing is the gradual progression of your mileage, intensity and frequency of running.

Some simple rules to follow in your training program include:

○ Have at least one day’s rest in between each run.

○ Only increase your mileage by a maximum of 10% per week.

○ 80% of runs should be low intensity.

For more detailed information, see Danny’s blog at