Injury Prevention Tips For Runners
1. Finding the right shoes
Finding a pair of shoes that suits you will not guarantee that you stay injury free. What it can offer you though is the comfort and right fit according to your foot type. It is always good to ask for advice from professionals/ doctors who are able to determine your foot type and recommend the appropriate shoes.
2. Knowing your limits
Avoid doing too much, too soon and too fast. Most experts will agree that this is the number one cause of self-inflicted running injury. The body needs time to adapt to any changes in training and increases in distance covered and intensity. An adequate amount of rest time is needed for muscles to recover to be ready for the next session. Failure to recover fully from your training sessions will make you more prone to injuries. Simple rule you can follow is to increase your mileage by no more than 10 percent each time to avoid overtraining.
3. Use Strength Training for Injury Prevention
A body with well-balanced muscles can serve as a very good form of protection against running related injuries. Not only does it help you to maintain a much better running posture, it also helps your body to stabilize itself better and to generate more power during your runs.
For a runner, it is important to strengthen the hip muscles. For cases where people experience knee pains during their runs, some cases might be due to weak hip musculature development. Bearing in mind that the site of the pain might not be the source (what is really causing the pain) of it. Start strengthening your hip muscles (Gluteus maximus/medius, abductors and adductors) to add more stability to your knees and ankles.
4. Consider Shortening Your Stride
Overstriding is a common mistake that can lead to decreased efficiency and increased injury risk. If you shorten your stride, you will land more softly with each foot fall, incurring lower impact forces. A shorter stride will most of the time reduce the impact forces which will decrease the chance of getting an injury and prevent the occurrence of heel striking.
Altering your running/walking gait may help to alleviate the pain that you may have felt previously. Consult a doctor on how to have your gait analyzed and find out how to improve your running form.
5. Do Your Stretches
Some of the common stretches that benefits a runner includes stretching the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. For a runner, it may also be a good idea to stretch the hip flexors as it might help the runner achieve a better running gait. Stretching the calf muscles may help to alleviate conditions such as pain in the Achilles tendon. To warm up, try doing dynamic stretches before runs to prepare the body for more vigorous movements. For cooling down after your runs, carry on and do your static stretches to lengthen and relax tight muscles.
6. Go For Variety. Cross Train.
Cross training not only offers variety to keep boredom at bay, it also gives the muscles that you often use for your sport a chance to recover fully. It is really useful for those who find it tough doing consecutive days of running because of running related problems. Cross training gives you an option to challenge your body in a different way with a different set of movement.
7. Limit Your Speedwork and How Often You Race
Your body should be given ample rest time to recover from the previous bout of training or race event. For someone who trains speedwork, they should take extra care as the effort exerted is near maximal capacity. A proper training plan should allocate sufficient rest days in between speedwork and should take into consideration the physical condition of the individual. For individuals who are more prone to injury or who have not attain a certain level of fitness, they should avoid multiple speedwork sessions in a week.
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