If you're a runner, you know how important it is to stay injury-free. Sure, running has a lot of benefits, but the moment your quadriceps cramp up in agony or your calves seize up because of an overly ambitious run can be demoralizing, to say the least. Here are seven things to keep in mind if you want to prevent painful injuries during your runs.
1. Warm up thoroughly before each run
Every time you start a run, whether it's an easy jog or a difficult speed workout, your body needs to be prepared for the stresses that running will put on it. To ensure that your muscles and joints are as ready as possible for running and any accompanying jostles and impacts, do some light stretches, and then warm up by getting the blood flowing. Doing so helps to prevent injuries that could occur by not warming up enough.
2. Take enough rest days to allow your muscles to heal and rebuild
Between your weekly runs, take days off. These rest days allow your body to recover, rebuild, and strengthen muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are what keep you moving forward, keeping you going in your training.
3. Don't overdo your running workout
Doing a little more than you should can lead to injuries, but doing too much for your workout can be problematic as well. You want to listen carefully to your body when it tells you you've reached the point of diminishing returns on a given session, and hold back if necessary until the next time you plan on running that day (or even the next few days).
4. Stretch before and after you run
After you've properly warmed up your muscles, running and stretching are key to keeping them healthy. Stretching before you run will help engage and loosen up the muscles that you want to use during your run, and a post-run stretch will help loosen up the muscles that were put through their paces while out on the road or pounding the pavement.
5. Avoid running on concrete
Running on concrete can cause stress injuries, like shin splints and knee pain. If you do have to run on a hard surface, make sure you wear good running shoes with ample padding in it. This will take some of the pressure off of your body as it hits the ground repeatedly when running on concrete.
6. Keep your form right and consistent
Bad form can lead to injuries as well, so make sure your running form is correct and you're consistently keeping good posture as you run. Good posture will help ensure that you're not putting too much stress on certain parts of your body as you plow through the pavement.
7. See a sports physiotherapist
A sports physiotherapist is trained to help athletes of all kinds deal with injuries, including runners. They also can give you a routine to follow that will assist in preventing future injuries.
Hello, my name is Liam and I live in Alice Springs, Australia. I work pretty hard every day out on my farm, so it isn't unusual for me to have aches and pains. I hate going to the doctor so I normally pop a couple of painkillers or open a cold beer to deal with the discomfort. However, my wife kept on nagging me to see a doctor, which I eventually did. The doctor at Fidelity Health Choice discovered that I had a rare infection which was causing the pain. After a course of drugs, I fully recovered. I now attend regular appointments. I hope you enjoy my health and wellbeing blog.