Worried About Running Injuries? Here are 10 Great Injury Prevention Tips
No one likes to get injured. But like any sport, running injuries are not uncommon. A strained hamstring, plantar fasciitis, or shin splints can set you back for weeks. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a little injury prevention so you can avoid these inconveniences. A little bit of effort goes a long way and can help keep you enjoying what you love…running! With this in mind, here are 10 great tips to help you avoid running injuries.
Invest in Gait Analysis:
Several running stores offer formal gait analysis as part of their free services. By letting a professional look at your running stride, you can get a few pointers. And a proper posture and stride can go a long way toward injury prevention when running.
Choose the Right Running Shoes:
A gait analysis can not only help you focus on a better running posture and stride, it can also help you determine which running shoes best match your gait. Many running injuries result from improper footwear or from wearing running shoes for too long. Know what running shoe is best for you and get a new pair every 300 – 400 miles.
Dynamic Warm-Ups Are a Must:
Though many runners neglect dynamic warm-ups, these are an important part of injury prevention. Allow your body to loosen up before a run rather than going full speed out of the starting gate. Adopting your own dynamic warm-up routine before every run can reduce running injuries significantly.
Commit to Post-Run Stretching:
Like pre-run warm-ups, many runners skip post-run stretching. As a result, muscles and connective tissue can become tight and more prone to running injuries later. Allow yourself 5 to 10 minutes after every run to stretch as part of your regular injury prevention regimen.
Vary Your Training Pace and Distance:
Running injuries can often result from over-training and over-use. Therefore, when you create your weekly running schedule, don’t try to make every run your best. Vary your distance with some shorter runs and enjoy some runs at a more relaxed pace. This will make running more enjoyable overall and also reduce the chances of overuse injuries.
Strength Training is Essential:
Many runners have found that cross-training can also help reduce the risk of running injuries. Specifically, strength training of various muscle groups, including your core muscles, is excellent in this regard. Therefore, plan 1 or 2 days each week to include some strength training into your running plan.
Consider Adding Yoga to Your Routine:
Yoga for runners can certainly help you in terms of stretching. But at the same time, yoga promotes better balance, greater flexibility, as well as strength. All of these are beneficial in helping you avoid running injuries. It’s a reason why so many runners now practice yoga every week.
Allow Adequate Recovery Time:
You have probably heard many running experts tell you to listen to your own body. In terms of injury prevention, this is excellent advice. Taking a day off when you’re over-tired or to rest a tight muscle can help greatly in avoiding running injuries. And allowing an injury to properly heal before running again can similarly prevent unnecessary setbacks.
Stay Hydrated and Replenished:
Hydration is important because it allows your cells and muscles to function at their best. This means your ability to recover after a run will be enhanced when you’ve replenished your fluid and electrolytes well. Though less well appreciated, hydration is a key component of any injury prevention plan.
Eat a Health and Balanced Diet:
Your body’s cells and muscles also require the proper nutrients to function at their best. Therefore, when you eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, you also reduce your chances for running injuries. While your actual nutrition may vary with your training, paying attention to nutrition is important.
The Benefits of Being Proactive
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nothing could be truer when it comes to the prevention of running injuries. Warming up, stretching, and other measures can be slightly inconvenient. But the benefits of injury prevention are well documented. Therefore, being proactive in your efforts to prevent injuries is strongly encouraged. In doing so, you’ll be able to run more often and perform your best.
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