Eli5: How do long distance runners avoid injuries?

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Eli5: How do long distance runners avoid injuries?

In: Biology

Many months/years of slowly building up your ability to run long distances plus proper rest and spacing out your runs during training. I’ve run some marathons and you shouldn’t continue to be in “marathon shape” year-round. It’s unsustainable for all but a handful of people in the world. Even Olympic-level marathoners take time off between races so they don’t get injured.

Most distance runners will have an “off-season” where they recover, run much shorter distances, and, if they’re working to get faster (perhaps to qualify for a specific race), practice short runs on a track at a higher pace. (Running on a track or grass is easier on the legs than road running.) There’s really just a lot of recovery time involved in distance running and it’s almost as important as the running part.

Also, some people just aren’t built for it and do get injured. Some of the fastest sprinters struggle to run a few miles because they were just built to do something else.