They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take it from someone who knows firsthand, running injuries are not fun. Who wants to get in the best shape of his or her life, only to have to slow down or even stop training and watch all that hard work go down the drain? Here are the top training guides to you prevent running injuries.
Top 5 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries:
- Cross Train
One of the best ways to prevent running injuries: mix up your workouts. Although nothing trains your body better for running than running, there are some tricks to get ahead while avoiding the overtraining trap. What’s your weakest link? Is it cardiovascular? Then train on the oliptal machine or bike 1-2 days a week. Is it strength? You may want to incorporate a spinning class or weight lifting into your routine. Don’t forget to make sure you are getting enough rest
Make sure you are getting enough rest in between training sessions. One way to do this is sleep with a heart rate monitor and watch for a rise in sleeping heart rate. Alternatively you can take your pulse before you get out of bed. If your waking heart rate is more than 5 beats per minute or higher, it may be a sign that you are over training. Also make sure you schedule 1-2 rest days per week so your body has a chance to recover. Recovering from use will help prevent countless running injuries.
Stretching can help prevent running injuries. The most common areas that become tight in runners include the hamstrings, calf muscles, hip flexors and the quads. .
- Avoid sudden changes to your training
Don’t suddenly increase or add in a new feature to your training, like hill runs for example. If you haven’t been doing it up to this point then don’t add it in at the last hurdle! Sudden changes like this can be the last straw and add new stresses on the muscles and joints, resulting in injury. Consistency and adding changes gradually make it easy to prevent running injuries.
- Don’t let your shoes get out of shape
Check your shoes to make sure they are not worn out. Look at the midsoles of your shoes and check to see if there are compression wrinkles. In general, replace your shoes after 400 miles or if something starts to ache without changing your training. One way to extend the life of your shoes is to rotate shoes so you are not running in the same pair every day.
- Pain is the Body’s Dummy Light
If you are having pain don’t ignore it. Make sure you get it checked out before it gets worse or you create other injuries. The sooner you get treatment, the faster you can get back to training; often better, faster, and stronger than before.