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How to Prevent Running Injuries
It’s common for new runners to hit the road and just start running as far and as fast as they can. Although running seems like it’s a pretty straightforward sport, it’s important to slowly work your way into it and give yourself time to train. Even if you consider yourself to be physically fit, running requires preparation, and planning out your approach is a great way to do it safely.
Pay attention to the details of running, such as footwear and form. One mistake can lead to an injury, but it’s usually the combination of a few different problems that will sideline a runner. Premier Orthopaedics is here to help, we suggest you follow these tips to avoid the most common injuries associated with running.
Wearing the correct running shoes can make all the different during your run. They can help you keep the proper form and reduce impact when your feet strike the ground. Pick a running shoe with an adequate amount of cushioning. You also want to make sure the shoes are comfortable. If you have aches and pains after using them a few times, they probably aren’t the right pair for you.
If you have strong muscles, ligaments, and tendons, your body will carry itself better, with straight posture, correct form, and guarding against impact. Incorporate strength training into your workout plan two to three times per week to build muscle and become a better runner. This will also help ensure that one muscle group isn’t doing all the work and getting tired or worn out, which can result in damage.
Perform weight-bearing exercises that focus on the lower half of your body. Exercises that incorporate balancing techniques will also be beneficial to improving your run.
If you’re new to running, you may not realize that there is a correct way to perform the running motion. The correct form means straight posture and the head should be directly over the shoulders. It’s also important to swing your arms, keeping your elbows close to your body and relaxing your hands for a proper swing. Above all, make sure it feels natural so you can find your rhythm.
Do not just start your run and set a pace. Warm up for 15-20 minutes first by walking briskly or jogging. This will help your muscles warm up and prepare for more intense physical activity. After your run, be sure to stretch out your muscles to prevent tears or strains.
Focus on stretching your legs and upper body to get your whole body limber. Remember to hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Running is a process that requires patience and hard work. Don’t assume that you will be able to sprint several miles your first time out. Even if you have the energy to do this the first week, you’ll quickly burn yourself out and be too tired to continue the second. Work with your natural speed and start by running one mile every day for a week. Gradually increase your mileage as the weeks go on. It’s also important to take a few days off every now and then to give your muscles and joints a break.
These tips can help you run correctly and reduce the risk of injuring yourself. It may be difficult to start running in the beginning, but if you can stick with it for a few weeks, soon you’ll find yourself looking forward to it.
For more tips and tricks for exercising, click here to download our e-book, The Athlete’s Guide to Reaching Peak Sports Performance and Preventing Injury. This educational guide will help you understand common sports injuries, treatment methods and how to maintain fitness after an injury.