There are warning signs like aches, soreness, and persistent pain. It is therefore up to you to heed these signs because if you don’t, you could hurt something else as you try to change your gait to compensate for the pain.
GET GOOD SHOES AND TRACK YOUR SHOES’ MILEAGE
To avoid injuries, a runner need s to have the right shoes which should be replaced every three hundred to five hundred miles depending on the size of the person. You should have a training log to keep a record of when you bought the shoes so that you will know when it is time for a change.
There is no single best shoe for every runner. Therefore, your goal is to find the one that offers the best support and fit your unique anatomy and biomechanics.
While buying shoes, don’t necessarily go for the cheapest. Compare a car with worn out tires, these decrease the performance of the car and can easily cause an accident. An athlete can be defined by the kind of shoes they wear because they are a determining factor in the performance of the athlete.
Worn out shoes can often lead to a lot of pain in the knees, ankles and hips.
Hurry has no blessings. So, by rushing the process, you could break down rather than build up.
This can be compared to formula one racing cars which have speedometers where you cannot just jump to peak speed but rather you increase speed gradually because if you do not, they break down and stop.
TAKE GOOD NOTES
A comprehensive detailed workout log can help you to keep motivated and injury- free. Taking good notes entails you jot down what you did and what you felt. For instance your workout log can contain:
- How you feel before, during and after the run.
- Weather conditions
- Distance covered
- Daily or weekly goals
- Workout time in minutes
- Mode of exercise
- People you train with
- Route and terrain
The above notes can help you not only evade running injuries but also injuries that may come from insecurities which
may arise when one is working out in insecure environments like forests and lonely parks.
Taking good notes also helps one determine the best routine that suits them comfortably while at the same time building one’s confidence when one sees all the miles they have covered. It also eases the next workout when you see how much you have accomplished.
CROSS – TRAIN
This is training in different sports like swimming, cycling, elliptical training, and rowing to burn a lot of calories and boost your aerobic fitness.
Cross – training activities also benefit one to improve muscle balance and stay injury- free. Cross – training can help you stay fit when you can’t run.
Some common running injuries and the safe cross – training activity
- Planter Fasciitis – swimming, rowing machine and stationary bike.
- IT- Band Syndrome (ITBS) – elliptical and rowing machine and swimming.
- Runner’s Knee – swimming and depending on the severity of the Injury, stationary bike.
- Achilles Pain – swimming, stationary bike and rowing machine.
- Stress fractures -swimming a depending on the severity of the injury, stationary bike can be safe.
When one is properly hydrated, it helps prevent muscle cramps. Avoid becoming dehydrated before the run or during the run as this will lead to depletion of potassium which is needed in order for the muscles to relax after they have contracted.
You increase your chances for cramping in the calves, quads or hamstrings when you run with low potassium levels.
HAVE A GAIT ANALYSSIS DONE
A gait analysis, usually done by coaches is where they make you run on a treadmill or outside and analyze how your foot lands when you run.
Whether you roll inward, outward, or have very little or no role and the coach determines whether you need a neutral stability, or motion control shoe.
HAVE MORE THAN ONE PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES
Having more than one pair of shoes ensures that you extent the life of your shoes. For example, you could have one pair suitable for longer runs and a lightweight pair for your faster speed works.
Can also be helpful when you have had a rainy or muddy run while one pair is drying, you can run in the alternate pair. This will also keep the feet fresh and healthy.
ONLY RUN IN YOUR RUNNING SHOES
Ensure your running shoes are meant for running only and avoid sharing. Using the right shoe for running ensures comfort ability and avoids unnecessary injuries. For example, imagine how uncomfortable it would be running in gumboots which are meant for muddy terrain.
STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH, SRTETCH!
Dynamic stretching includes walking, an easy jog, butt kicks, side shuffles, walking lungs, and high knee. These should be done before and after running as it is very important in helping to prevent injuries.
While preparing for a run after sitting for long hours in the office or driving for long, your muscles become very tight. Therefore, it is important to loosen up by performing the dynamic stretches. If you still feel tight after these exercises, it is advisable to do some more of the more traditional static stretches which means you stretch and hold.
RESPECT THE RECOVERY PROCESS
In this case, proactive recovery methods are much more helpful because they ensure that you do not have too much damage in the first place.
The Stress- Adaptation Cycle illustrated below helps you remember that every workout you do is a stress that initially damages your body and only when you recover and adapt do you truly become a stronger, faster, and more resilient runner.
Proactive recovery works within this cycle and ensures that you only do the workouts that are appropriate to your fitness level.
Every workout that you run should be achievable, within your abilities, and realistic. “Stretch workouts” that may leave you sore for days compromise the recovery process as they spike your injury risk.
Do not attempt to complete the workout if you are feeling exhausted or overly sore or have a niggling pain.
To know if you should run or not:
- If the level of soreness is light or you are just experiencing general fatigue, press on with your planned workout.
- Should you be experiencing stabbing pain, you should not run.
- When you have a moderate amount of dull or achy soreness, you should make your planned run easier.
RUNNERS NEED TO BE STRONG FOR AN INJURY- FREE RUNNING
Runners need strength running since they not only work the legs but also the upper body. Injury prevention includes more than just strength exercises. Most runners who do not string together a few months of consistent training due to chronic injuries end up not doing any strength work
Compare what would happen if you put the engine of a May Bach Landoulet in a Peugeot. This would tear the chassis apart.
Injury prevention will also help one to become a more efficient runner so you lose less energy and ultimately run faster.
AVOID BORING RUNS
Bored running means that you do the same distances, in the same shoes, at the same paces, on the same route, while training for the same race. The racing goals remain the same from year to year.
With that kind of repetition, repetitive overuse injuries are therefore so common. Variations will have tremendous impact. For example, one can do small changes to paces, running surface and terrain and having different types of workouts to reduce the repetitive stress of running.
You can avoid the repetitive stress of running by:
- Getting off the roads and sidewalks to run more hills and trails.
- Running workouts that include paces of maximum effort sprinting to very easy and comfortable runs.
- Rotating two or more shoes as this will alter your biomechanics and the stress experienced by your feet and the lower legs.
- Rotating a more minimalized shoe can help you build more strength and alter the way your foot interacts with the ground. The aim here is to accomplish foot strength and reinforcing proper running form.