I’m running my first 15k next month and one of the biggest things I have been worried about is injuring myself. There are many different common injuries that runners can be affected by, all of which will require quite a bit of rest and recovery to allow the body to recover properly. And we all know that the majority of runners hate having to take all this time off running!
Whether you are just starting out on your running journey (like me) or have been pounding the pavements for a few years now, we can all be susceptible to injury. Thankfully, though, there are a few preventative measures that you can take to stop getting badly hurt and to ensure that you never have to take too much time off your favorite hobby. Read on to find out more!
Do Some Strength Training
One thing that most runners are guilty of is neglecting their strength training. Sure, you need to make sure that you are doing plenty of runs each week if you want to improve, but you also need to plan in some strength workouts as well. These will improve your body’s overall strength.
One reason why we get injured, especially beginners, is because our muscles are not yet strong enough for the intensity of running. So, carrying out this kind of extra training will ensure that your muscles quickly strengthen and are strong enough for you to increase the frequency and intensity of your runs when you need to.
Stay Flexible And Supple
As well as working on your strength, you also need to spend some time keeping your body flexible and supple. This is very easily done – all you need to do is some daily stretches or attend Yoga or Pilates classes a couple of times a week. Not only does this prevent injuries from occurring, but it can also improve your performance.
Drink Plenty Of Water
We all know just how important it is to stay well hydrated, especially during and just after our runs. But did you know that this is also important because it helps to prevent certain injuries?
It’s true! Water provides cushioning for the bones and if you don’t drink enough, you will lose this crucial cushioning. Not only that, though, but you could quickly become dehydrated, which can be very dangerous in hot weather.
It’s not only water that you need to take in before a run. You also need to be sure to fuel correctly with a healthy and balanced diet. Eating plenty of nutritious foods will provide your body with all the necessary minerals and vitamins it needs to make sure the bones and muscles are in peak condition.
It’s not just about what you eat before a run, though. You also need to take in plenty of protein after a hard or long run as well. Most runners eat a protein bar straight after a run, and you might want to browse dnxbar.com to see the kinds that are available. Ideally, you need to eat your high-protein snack within half an hour of completing your run otherwise it won’t be used as effectively by the body.
Always Warm Up And Cool Down
Before you head out on your run, you will need to spend some time warming up. This gives your body and muscles the change to get warm and ready for a workout.
You don’t need to spend too long doing this, just ten to fifteen minutes should be enough to elevate your heart rate and ensure the muscles are engaged. You should also spend about the same amount of time cooling down as well. This will flush out all of the lactic acid from your muscles.
If you fail to stretch correctly at the end of a run, you might wake up with some very sore legs the next day! Not warming up or cooling down before and after your runs is also increasing your risk of suffering from a muscle injury as well.
Increase Mileage Gradually
When you are just starting off on your running journey, it is very easy to get over excited and try a long run before your body is ready for it. As you can probably tell, this is a sure-fire way to end up injured.
So, one thing to remember is that you should never push yourself too far. This is even the case for runners who have been running for a few years now.
The general rule of thumb is that you should never increase your weekly mileage by more than ten percent at a time. Doing so could leave you with some very sore muscles and potentially even some painful injuries!
Get Plenty Of Rest
Your rest days are some of the most important days in your training plan. Even if you don’t feel like you need to rest, it is important that you do as making your body and muscles do too much is one of the most common ways to get injured. But your rest days aren’t just for recovery.
They actually give your body the chance to adapt to your training so that you can improve in your future runs. So, one reason why some runners find it hard to run faster or longer is because they aren’t giving their body enough rest. If this sounds like you, you might want to think about adding an extra rest day into your training plan.
Wear The Right Shoes
If you haven’t had your gait analyzed, there is no way of knowing whether you are wearing the right kind of shoes or not. As you can see at runnersneed.com, it is super important!
Wearing the wrong shoes could end up with you suffering from shin splints and, trust me, they are so painful, you do not want to risk that! The majority of running shops will be able to test your gait and tell you whether you need to wear shoes with support or not. It really is worth doing it!
If you follow all of the tips above, you shouldn’t have to worry about constant injuries anymore!