Justine Routhier of CJOB gave me call to talk about this article from fitsugar.com on avoiding common running injuries.
I like fitsugar but it can sometimes be a little light in terms of referencing where they get their info from, and a little short on content.
The fitsugar article does a decent job of describing common running injuries but left out the most recent most significant understanding of what drives most lower extremity injuries and mechanical dysfunctions in runners, that being hip muscle strength and firing pattern imbalances. Go here for an article I posted recently on this.
Two of the best exercises for improving running form, biomechanics, and reducing risk of injury are the side lying leg raise (hip abduction), and the glute bridge.
Your best step to preventing overuse injuries is taking the time required to build a healthy tolerance to running. It isn't true that constantly dealing with aches and pains is part of regular running, but listening in on most post run discussions in any given running group and sore shins, knees, hips, feet, and back will be all too common.
The time required to become a healthy injury free runner differs somewhat between people so make sure you take the time you need which is often longer than what others claim, and longer that what we think it should take.
Indeed it usually takes 6 to 8 months of carefully progressive exercise to overcome repetitive strain injury in runners.
The most common mistakes I see in rehab and prehab (exercises to prevent common injuries) is going too hard too soon.
I'll often have athletes calling me complaining of sore hip muscles from doing the "rehab" hip exercises. They always reveal that they decided to 50 to 100% more repetitions and exercises sessions than I recommended thinking that more is better.
In talking to physiotherapists, other coaches, massage therapists, and sport medicine docs about this, there seems to be pretty good agreement; those doing injury recovery and prevention programs either go well beyond the recommended volume and intensity of exercise, will not complete the full program, or will not do enough. D'oh! Very few follow the advice to the letter, and so very few have the benefit of experiencing injury free running.
It really is worth it to be patient and take the time to do it right. Add injury prevention exercises as part of your regular routine, don't run when tired or sore, and cut your run short when aches and pains increase.