The 4 S’s of not getting injured

June 2, 2020

The 4 S’s of not getting injured


Periods of change are always associated with and increased risk of pain and injury.

Preseason training, starting a new job, having a baby, starting to run. None of these are bad, the opposite in fact, but all of them involve changes in either the DEMAND on your system, or it’s CAPACITY to deal with stuff.

Pain and injury often occur when the gap between capacity and demand decreases, or disappears.

Global pandemics will do that to you, too.

So, given everything is weird and different, how can you be active, do all the things you want and not spend all your time with us?


Keep in mind the 4 S’s


SUDDEN – changing or increasing things suddenly can cause tissue to not adapt in time, or pain to kick in to protect you. Given gyms have closed, and team sport is off, the big one has been running. Running is excellent for you, great for every part of your body. But, it exerts force on your body. If it is too sudden an increase, pain and injury can happen. So increase things slowly, allow time to adapt, see rest days as part of your training, not being slack. Slow and steady wins the race.


STRENGTH – a better word is capacity, but it doesn’t start with S. Basically, i’m talking about being able to handle more stuff. The more force you can deal with, the better able to deal with increased demand. So more movement, more strength, more endurance, more coordination, more skill variability. All of these things make you more adaptable, more resilient. Strong people still get injured, so you can’t prevent it – just decrease your risk.


SLEEP – We’re not talking about staying up late one night and finishing Hip Hop Evolution on Netflix in one go (which I actually recommend – it is just the best). But sleep deprivation, over time, increases your tolerance to load and the sensitivity of your system. There are things in everyone’s life that disrupt our sleep, and some of those things we can’t change, plus everyone is different – some people need more, some need less. However, if you’re wanting to increase or change what you do, or better tolerate the demand on your system, more sleep will help.


STRESS – hard to avoid in the time of global pandemics. Plus, not all stress is bad – we respond positively to stress. However consistently high levels of stress means you are running at near capacity all the time and one little new or different thing can bring you crashing down. Less stress might help, but again, like more sleep, it might be hard to get. Being aware of the stressors and being able to manage them might be more helpful. Like by taking up running for instance……


There is a silver lining to lockdown effects – more time to be active in new and different ways. All of it is good. The last thing we want to hear about is someone that gives up running because of pain. Apply these ideas first, then if that doesn’t work, ask for help. The benefits of being active at a high level outstrip the risk of getting injured. So go hard, but smart, and gradually harder.

Plus, if you do get injured, you get to hang out with us. And we always have good tunes on.