Whether you are a novice runner or one with years of experience, you must make sure that you do everything possible to prevent running injuries which can be quite painful and may need a long recovery time. Thankfully, there are some things which you can do to avoid preventable running related injuries.
Here are several super simple ways to prevent such running related injuries:
- Work on your flexibility. You should do some daily stretching in order to improve and maintain the flexibility of your muscles and body. This will help prevent injuries as well as improve your running performance. Perform the stretching right after you have warmed up the muscles for about 10 minutes. Take the time to stretch all joints and parts of your body. Stretch and hold in place for about 30 seconds with each stretch. Do this without bouncing. Do arm circles, high knee drills, cross body arm swings, skipping and other dynamic exercises.
- Add some strength workouts to your training. This will make your body stronger and will improve your athleticism, so the fatigue in your muscles is reduced and thus the risk of injury is reduced. The strength training should include all muscle groups, including the trunk and upper of the body, as well as your legs. Do 2 to 3 strength workouts per week to enhance your performance and stay injury free. Improve when offseason and maintain the strength during the season.
- Make sure you adhere to a well-balanced diet, and always stay hydrated. Pre-hydrate with 16-20 ounces of fluids before training or a race, and then drink another 10 ounces after you warm up. Keep drinking fluids every 15-20 minutes of a race or running. Becoming dehydrated will not only lead to a bad performance but can lead to mild and serious health issues.
- Take the time to properly warm up and then cool down when running. This reduces the risk of muscle injuries and soreness. The longer the run, the longer the warm up should be.
- Increase your running mileage gradually. Plan your training schedule, so that your body can gradually take up to the added stress of the added miles. Do not add more than 5-10% of mileage to your running per week, so that you do not overstress the body and suffer from injuries from overtraining. Don’t push yourself too hard and know when to quit.
- Your schedule should have appropriate resting days and other cross training exercises. The cross training will help you work on your aerobic impact without the stress and impact from too much running. You can add various sports and other activities, depending on your preferences and your personal goals. Allow for your muscles to properly recover by adding rest days to your training schedule. It is best to ask a running expert to help with your training program.
- Wear proper running shoes depending on your foot and arch form, size and your gait type. Wearing the inappropriate type of running shoes will not only hinder your performance but can lead to a number of running related injuries. You can find a list of running shoes models arranged according to the foot type or problem on Comforthacks.
- Get professional advice and analysis of your gait type. Ask a podiatrist or running expert to perform an analysis of your gait type, and ask for recommendations for special shoe types or orthotics if corrections are necessary.
- Ask the running expert to analyze your running form. The biomechanical expert should be able to perform detailed analysis of your running form, detect any flaws which can affect your performance or which can cause injuries. Get advice about ways to improve your running and you will notice how your performance will improve once the proper adjustments are made.