Preventing Running Injuries
More than half of all runners deal with at least one injury per year. Every time your foot lands on the ground while running, your leg absorbs 2-3 times your body weight. Now multiply that by the number of steps taken during your run and the number of runs per week and you can very quickly see how injuries can develop. Below are some tips to help prevent injuries when running:
- Improve and maintain your flexibility.
- Include strength training in your running program. Strength training helps to reduce muscular fatigue, which is a contributor to poor performance and injuries. You should try to focus on all muscle groups (upper body, lower body and trunk). Focus on improving your strength in both the pre-season and offseason, while maintaining your strength in season.
- Gradually increased mileage and intensity. Slowly build up the amount of training you do along with bumping up the intensity. Increases in training volume, duration and intensity should be a gradual increase of 5-10% per week.
- Wear the correct shoes. Not all shoes are made alike. The type of shoe you need varies depending on your foot type and style of running. You should have your gait and running mechanics analyzed so that you are wearing a shoe that properly supports your foot.
Improve and maintain your flexibility
- Daily stretching is essential to improve and maintain flexibility, which in turn will help improve performance and prevent injuries.
- Stretching should be done after you warm up your muscles – usually about 10 minutes of warm up should be enough.
- Stretching should never be done in a hurry and should include all joints and extremities. Each stretch should be held in place for 30 seconds without bouncing.
- It is helpful to include sports specific dynamic exercises like high knee drills, skipping, bounding, arm circles, and cross body arm swings.