If you are a cautious beginner in the running world, then your prime worry would most probably be what can you do to prevent running injuries. The pain of these injuries can be excruciating as well as waste a significant chunk of your training period. Injuries are inevitable undoubtedly; however, preventing them is not rocket science.
Trust when we say that running injuries can be prevented and we will tell you all about doing so. Continue reading as we cover all that is necessary to keep you safe while running.
- 1 Reasons for running injuries
- 2 Some common running injuries
- 3 Approach to injury prevention
- 4 Prevention methods to avoid running injuries
- 5 Getting back to running after injury
- 6 Conclusion
Reasons for running injuries
Once you know the causes, it will get easier for you to decide what can you do to prevent running injuries. These can be:
Some common running injuries
Let us tell you some of the frequent runner injuries that can make you think about what can you do to prevent running injuries.
Some other injuries are muscle pull, blisters, ankle sprain, hypothermia, and other temperature-related problems.
Approach to injury prevention
Running injuries are common and happen to everyone. It is a fact that injury prevention is comprehensive and multi-faceted. You cannot rely on a single formula but have to devise one for yourself by mixing and matching different care elements.
Multiply twice your body weight to the total steps within five miles and then multiply it with the number of runs in a week- this will give you an idea of the stress your body takes.
For predicting how prone you are to running injuries, you can analyze these three factors- your previous injuries, mileage, and running experience.
If you notice these signs, then it’s time to start wondering what can you do to prevent running injuries as your risk level is amping up-
You must immediately stop if you are facing any of these difficulties or more. This is the safest and prime approach you have to follow always. Consult a doctor and get proper treatment for the issue at the right time itself before it gets worse. Watch this video.
Prevention methods to avoid running injuries
Don’t skip warm up
This is one of the most basic parts of running training that goes misunderstood by most of the athletes. However, when it is missing, the body gets the most prone to injuries as the joints of the body are unready to take the impact of running.
Don’t think that the warm-up has to be necessarily much complicated and too comprehensive. A simple warm-up session would last somewhere around 8-10 minutes, involving some stretching and muscle refreshing exercises. You can try foam rolling the calves and thighs as it decreases muscle soreness and improves the motion range.
You must stretch after running as it helps to ease the muscles and recover them from the stimulation process while running. It proves to be especially helpful for the tight muscles as they can get painful or become immobile. It enhances body mechanics and keeps unnecessary straining and injuries away.
Work on body strength-building
Your body core should be strong and is one of the best answer to what can you do to prevent running injuries. Strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments give protection against any harmful impact, keep the gait consistent, and improve body form. A strong body conveys all the movement messages rightly to the brain and thus the body remains prepared for any impact.
It also promotes stability and promotes postural control by keeping the body upright and balanced. It helps to prevent knee pain from running.
It is important to keep the body limber and loose and this can be achieved by including flexibility exercises to the training regime. Better flexibility helps you to adopt a wider range of motion and also reduces risk proneness. The main idea is to break the muscle adhesions and increase tissue mobility by doing some other exercises.
Try on some exercises like the donkey kicks, wall press, clamshells, stability ball bridge, squats, single-leg balancing, jumping, and others. Involving some cross-training with running is also a great idea as it not only enhances the running benefits but also builds the muscles to make them less injury-prone. You can combine Yoga, swimming, cycling, and similar other workouts.
Understand your body
No one can understand your body better than yourself as it will help in knowing what can you do to prevent running injuries. The main purpose is avoiding overstressing as it can be a very potent cause of injury.
You must stay attentive towards the leg muscles, the health of the feet, and how comfortable your stride is. It is also advisable to keep checking the training routine that you are following and ask if it is causing you any unnecessary distress. It is not wise to run while in pain as it invites injury the most, even if you are okay with slight discomfort.
If you are persistent, then decrease the run distance or the time you are going to devote.
Build mileage gradually
This tip is very important for the ones who are beginners in the running world. Remember to start slow, include shorter runs in your regime and you must be very gradual while increasing the everyday running distance. The major injury that you are going to face if you hurry here is shin splints.
You must avoid increasing the intensity dramatically and doing the same with the exercise duration and frequency of the runs. A slow but steady approach is the key and this will keep the overtraining injuries at bay. An important tip is to never try increasing the intensity and distance within one single week.
You can try combining hip-strengthening and low-impact core exercises with the running training to improve the aerobic strength of the body. Running intelligently is going to benefit you more and you should be attentive to your running purpose.
Do the strength exercises
Strong muscles are the biggest plus for runners and strength training aims to help you with that only. It targets building up endurance, strength, muscle tone, and bone density. Your running form also improves with these supplemental exercises as the body mechanics start running the right way.
You may get surprised to know that running is single-leg sport and sturdy glute muscles are what you are going to need for that. You must have a dynamic balance for injury prevention. A weak glute medius leads to inward knee collapses and meniscus tears.
Some of the runner specific glute-strengthening workouts include top-down deadlifts, side/lateral planks, leg raises, calf raises, squats, banded lateral walks, single-leg bridges, etc. It will be an added advantage to do these before you run as they warm the muscles up for engagement. It would decrease the fatigue impact as you speed up mileage and also helps the body get into the correct running position.
Follow the right running form
Undoubtedly, running also has a specific technique just like every other sport has. It cannot be denied that individuality shapes the running pattern better but there are some common facts that form the base for any sport. If you are wondering what can you do to prevent running injuries, then you must follow some running basics like proper stride and a good posture that are the two major components of a good form.
A good posture is essential where the torso is straight and an inarching lower back. If the posture is poor then the knees and the back get stressed leading to overstriding. The muscles contract before landing to stabilize the joints and poor posture leads to a harmful impact, causing stress fractures.
Always land softly and avoid overstriding. Your midstance should be controlled by the center of the body to prevent the pronation phase from causing injury. Evaluate the cadence to decrease joint pressure.
Wear the right footwear
The right type of running gear is that of paramount importance to a runner. The proper shoe must give you comfort around the toes and the heels and the overall fit should be snug. When buying them, give them a trial and try them with your usual running socks on to get the uncompromising fit.
Good shoes help to reduce the injury potential as they help to keep the form steady and regulate the impact of the repetitive forces on the body. The shoe’s cushioning and other factors help support the biomechanics of the body.
Take resting seriously
We talked about being attentive to the body whispers if you want to decide what can you do to prevent running injuries. Sometimes the body might want you to take a day off, or even many days.
The rest time is the recovery time for the muscles that work hard while running and it gives a much-needed break to the tendons. If you think that your training plan is complete without adequate resting time, then you are mistaken.
Having good sleep can give you the best rest. Excessive physical exertion causes the muscles to break down and resting gives them the time to re-build. Relaxes muscles train even better post-rest and you thought resting is just a time waste?
You must also keep yourself nicely hydrated. Doing all these things is going to make you less prone to injury which is the case with the tired body. You will progress better and go more miles.
Getting back to running after injury
You may suffer an injury even after taking full cognizance of what can you do to prevent running injuries. So you must then know how to take off again after recovery so that you don’t fall in the same pit again.
What can you do to prevent running injuries doesn’t need to be answered with any groundbreaking theory. The prevention methods are simple. You only need to be consistent and honest.
You must set proper goals and make a good training plan for achieving them. Prepare yourself well before the run like get hydrated and be in the right running gears. Go for a run in good weather conditions, at a safe location and apt time.
Run fast but stay safe!