Recent research has identified some interesting facts about adolescent runners. It is clear that adolescents run differently than adult runners. There are various intrinsic and extrinsic factors related to injuries in adolescent runners.
Intrinsic factors included:
History of prior injury
Low body weight in females
Leg length discrepancy of >1.5cm in P boys
Many of these factors can not be modified but should make you aware that they could set you up for a running injury with extrinsic factors present.
Extrinsic factors included:
Running with <166 steps/min
<8 weeks of running prior to the start of the season
Infrequently altering high and low mileage increased risk 6x in females and 3x in males.
33% or more running on hills=10x greater risk in females and 2x in males
Running on concrete surface vs asphalt, trails, rubber track
The moral of the story: To stay injury free with running, you must run with a cadence of 174 steps/min or greater, vary running surfaces, limit downhill running, alternate high and low mileage weeks, and train at least 8 weeks prior to racing.
Hope this helps keep you injury free!
Make every day like Race Day!