Load Management and Training Errors

Load Management and Training Errors

So many of the injuries we see in the clinic are what we would term ‘overload’ injuries. A lot of these overload injuries you would have heard of before from a friend or family member, or you have experienced one of them yourself. The common culprits are:

  • Achilles tendinopathy (or tendinitis), 
  • Plantar fasciopathy (or fasciitis)
  • Golfers/Tennis Elbow
  • Patellofemoral pain (runners knee)
  • Rotator cuff pathology
  • Shin Splints (Medial tibial stress syndrome)
  • Bone stress injuries/fractures

These injuries stem from training errors that are usually avoidable with the right training plan and some good advice. So how do training errors occur? Overload is necessary for your body to adapt and this is how we improve in strength, endurance or cardiovascular fitness – but it needs to be done slowly in order for the body to have time to adapt. Our body is constantly turning over cells, and when there is microdamage in bone, muscle, or tendons as a result of training, the body repairs and makes that tissue stronger – if given the chance! If not given the chance, we end up with injuries.

When calculating your training load there are a number of factors to keep in mind (because most of the overload injuries we see involve running, I will use it as the example):

  • Frequency (how often are you running)
  • Intensity (how hard was the session/what pace did you run)
  • Time (how long was the session/how far did you go)
  • Surface (did you run on grass/concrete/flat/hills etc)
  • Training history (when did you start running/what is your previous weekly/monthly running load)
  • What other sports/training are you doing (often netball/touch footy not seen as running)
  • Rest days

The biggest training error we see in these overload injuries is not enough rest. Now rest days don’t necessarily mean total rest – runners can do strength/swimming/pilates etc and it isn’t an issue as the main problem we see is with the impact itself. Most of the time, these injuries have a common theme:

  • Too many runs (not enough rest days)
  • Too many kilometres (ramped up weekly total)
  • Too fast (training runs are too fast)
  • Too big (stride length too long)
  • Too hard (path/road/trail running)
  • Too hilly (not enough flat running)


It is important to keep in mind, that everybody is different. People who have been training consistently for a long time and have a large weekly load can tolerate larger gross changes in their weekly kilometres than a novice – e.g. a person who has been running ~100km per week for the last 5 years can usually tolerate a 10km increase without an issue, but a person who never runs and has decided to do the corporate 10km challenge without any training can end up with a serious overload injury as a result. Training history and physical makeup matter an enormous amount with these types of injuries. 

If you’re starting to train or ramping up your training, think of all of these principles when increasing your activity, in order to avoid coming into the Befit Training Physio clinic for treatment of one of these overload injuries. Keep a keen eye out for your own potential training errors, and if you need the guidance of one of our physiotherapists in order to develop a training plan to avoid those errors, come into the clinic to discuss a plan.

Tom Eather – BeFit Training Physio Double Bay

Tom Eather – BeFit Training Physio Double Bay

Tom Eather, a Senior Physiotherapist based in Double Bay, Sydney, offers effective treatment for musculoskeletal problems. With personalized assessments and evidence-based rehabilitation programs, Tom addresses the root cause of injuries to achieve long-lasting results. Specializing in Golf and sports injury physiotherapy, he emphasizes comprehensive healing over temporary fixes. To book a consultation, click the link below.

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