Overuse injuries are common in IET. However, they can be avoided by carefully following the exercise principles of “recovery” and “progression.”
Research suggests that soldiers are more prone to injuries of the lower extremities after the third week of IET. High-impact activities, such as road marching and running on hard surfaces, should be carefully monitored during at this time. During this period, fixed circuits and other activities that develop CR fitness are good, low-impact alternatives.
Properly fitted, high-quality running shoes are important, especially when PT sessions require running on hard surfaces. Court shoes, like basketball or tennis shoes, are not designed to absorb the repetitive shock of running. Activities such as running obstacle courses and road marching require combat boots to protect and support the feet and ankles. Naturally, common sense dictates a reasonable break-in period for new combat boots, especially before long marches. Examples of recommended PT sessions and low-risk exercises are in Chapter 7. Specific health and safety considerations are in TRADOC Reg. 350-6, paragraph 4-2.