Following a consistent exercise routine is not easy, and the last thing one would need is a running injury to throw a wrench in their plans. Earlier, Elijah McClain had mentioned that running injuries are fairly common and can happen in both beginners and experienced runners, especially if they are not taking any steps to prevent them.
There are many practical tips one can follow to prevent running injuries, such as:
- Have a plan and progress slowly: Any time one is planning to set a new running related goal, like adding more mileage to the weekend run or running a marathon, it is prudent to try and achieve it without mistreating the body. Any kind of physical activity that advances too fast can lead to injuries. As a general rule of thumb, one should increase their running mileage by no more than 10% a week, which is about a mile per week. Overexerting the joints and muscles can lead to inflammation and injury.
- Avoid increasing speed and distance at the same time: A runner may choose to gradually add more distance to their runs or quicken their pace, but increasing both at the same time should be avoided. If one is trying to run both farther and faster, the risk of getting injured can be high.
- Give the muscles what they need to recover: What a runner does to recover after their run can be as important as the exercise itself. Proper recovery not only involves making sure that the body is able to perform as desired on the next run, but it can also help prevent overuse injuries. Providing the muscles enough time to rest is a huge part of recovery, but so is staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep and eating healthy. Recovery can also involve relaxing tight and sore muscles, for which one can use ice and heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, massage therapy and more.
- Know the difference between soreness and pain indicating an injury: If one truly challenges their body, it is normal to have muscle soreness and discomfort after a run. One can expect to have muscle soreness for a few days after a run, especially if they are quickening their pace or adding more miles to the run. However, sharp pain after a run is not normal. If one is experiencing sharp pain or pain that does not go away in a few days, it is better to seek medical attention.
- Make time for cross-training: While running is surely a good workout, one should try not to limit themselves to a single, repetitive type of exercise as doing so can cause an overuse injury. Cross training with core activities and weights can help strengthen the muscles that support the body while running. Cross training can not only help a person to run better, but it would also reduce the risk of injury.
Earlier, Elijah McClain had pointed out that in addition to following the points discussed above, one should also wear quality running shoes to avoid an injury. Wearing improper shoes on a run can impact the normal foot movement of a person and increase the risk of a running overuse injury.