7 Tips to stay injury free when running.
Up to 79% of runners are sidelined each year due to injury. Commonly most people will have multiple reoccurrences and some never run again.
Below are 7 of our tips that will help to prevent injury when running:
- Correct footwear
Correct footwear can reduce risk of injury while running. The right pair of runners can alter your form and how the repetitive forces of running are applied to your body. Knowing what pair of shoes to choose from can be daunting. However stick to one rule of finding a shoe which is comfortable. If they don’t feel good then you’re probably increasing unwanted stress on the body. Finding a shoe that fits and supports your anatomy and biomechanics is best. Having correct footwear and changing them approximately every 500 – 700km will help to prevent injuries. Our partners at http://therunningcompany.com.au/ are experts when it comes to fitting running shoes based on your feet and body type.
- Strong body
Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons guard us against impact, improve form and lead to a correct running alignment. Most runners lack strength in at least one muscle group. Having a solid foundation to run with will allow for the body to absorb load better while running. Strengthening your whole body, not just individual muscle groups and exercises that mimic movements you actually do while running will benefit you the most. Functional exercises like single leg squats, lunges and hops help to build strength and stability. These exercises will help your body endure and absorb the stresses of running.
- Good form
Some experts say changing one’s running form invites injury, while others believe there is a right technique for running. Despite those two arguments, there is common ground in both, that being good posture and having a proper stride. Strength training can also help improve form. It makes for a stable base and can help correct muscle imbalances in the body. A running assessment performed by a specialist running physio at Premier can help to identify areas that need to be corrected to help injury prevention. More info at https://www.premiersportsmedicine.com.au/services/running-assessments/
- Warm up
A proper warm up before exercising can reduce the risk of injury. It gives your muscles, bones and joints a chance to loosen up and gradually increases your heart rate. Doing a warm up helps to increase the temperature in your muscles and enhances blood flow letting your brain and body know it’s time to start exercising.
There is little evidence out there to support that stretching prevents overuse injuries. That being said knee and Achilles problems among runners are the most frequent complaints. Stretching the main muscle groups that strain these areas when there is underlying tightness is recommended to help increase the range of motion. Before you run a few dynamic stretches can be done as an effective pre-run warm up.
Sleep is important to both the health of our bodies and minds. It allows for recovery, as during sleep your body repairs muscle, builds bone, blood cells and restocks glycogen stores. When you get inadequate sleep it wears you down mentally and physically. Not only will your running performance suffer but you will also be more prone to injury. Having a solid 8 hours of sleep allows for a full recovery of all your bodies systems.
- Running program
Having a program tailored to your specific goals and fitness level will help you achieve your running goals and avoid overloading your body. When starting off muscles and joints need time to recover and handle the demands of training. Having a set program to follow will allow for incremental increases in training load, therefore, reducing the risk of injury. Follow the 10% rule as a rough guide building up your training load by no more than 10% each week. By following this rule it helps to reduce your chances of overtraining, therefore, reducing susceptibility to injury.
Don’t ignore pain – you can’t run through it, this will only make things worse. If you still find that even niggling injuries are hanging around – the best thing you can do is get it checked by an expert who can give you the right advice on how to recover quickly and get back into your running without pain.