Are you a runner? Do you have any aches or pains that are stopping you from running like you used to? The problem may be that there’s something wrong with how your body is moving. Luckily, runners can take steps to prevent injuries by making some changes in their form and routine.
This blog post will teach you everything you need to know about injury prevention for runners!
Stretch Before and After Running
The first key to injury prevention is stretching before and after running. You’ll need to stretch the muscles used when you run and the ones in other areas of your body that help stabilize you while running or keep your form correct.
Stretch both on a yoga mat if possible and stand upright afterward, so it’s fresh in your mind. The best stretches to do for running are quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.
Don’t forget your back! Stretch it by leaning over a table or sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor while bending from the waist. Reach one arm up towards the ceiling so that you have an even stretch across your whole back.
Wear the Right Running Gear
Next, you’ll want to wear the right running gear. Your clothes should fit well enough, so they don’t interfere with your form or cause chafing during long runs. Also, do not forget to wear a knee brace for running if you have any knee issues or would want to protect your knees from injuries. When it comes to your clothing, be sure that everything is loose enough so that nothing restricts movement or causes chafing during long runs.
You’ll also want a supportive shoe that is designed for running. Running shoes should have arch support, padding in the heel and forefoot, and be snug but not tight on your foot (unless you are using orthotics).
For ladies, it is important to have a good sports bra or two- they’ll help keep your breasts from bouncing around too much and causing pain, discomfort, and chafing during long runs. Make sure any accessories like sunglasses are secure and won’t fall off.
Carry Water With You When You Run
Carry a water bottle with you when you run. You’ll need to stay hydrated and refreshed throughout your run, so carry some water or sports drinks in the summer months. Make sure you drink water before, during, and after your run.
Don’t forget to have a snack as well- usually, something light like an apple or banana is best for runners because it will give them the required sugars they need without weighing down their stomachs with heavy foods that can cause cramps.
Take Walking Breaks When You’re Running
To prevent injuries in your feet and ankles, take walking breaks. Walk for about 15 minutes out of every hour that you run to give yourself a break from the impact on your joints.
You can also try running one leg at a time. This will help strengthen your weaker side more than if you run with both legs. It’s also a good idea to strengthen your hips, knees, and ankles with exercises like squats or lunges before running, so you’re less likely to injure these areas.
Don’t Overdo It
Please do not overdo it. The best thing for runners is to run until they are tired and then stop- not running past that point or doing any more runs than necessary in a day. This will make your muscles stronger without overtaxing them and making you prone to injury.
Running too much can cause shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, stress fractures, and other injuries. Similarly, don’t run more than two days in a row without taking at least one day off for recovery or cross-training. Resting is just as important to injury prevention as stretching!
If you want some structured running plans that will help prevent overdoing it and keep you injury-free, you can check out running plans from a reputable source.
Have a Physical Evaluation
If you are a new runner or have been running for a while and want to make sure you’re doing it the right way, speak with your doctor about getting a physical evaluation. This will help them assess where any potential problems might be coming from to give you specific exercises to strengthen those areas.
This is also recommended if you have rehabilitated an injury to your feet or ankles and want to make sure you’re doing it the right way. If you are already running regularly, a physical evaluation can help determine if any of your joints need more support than what is provided by regular exercise. For instance, some people might be diagnosed with arthritis in their knees and require different shoes than those who don’t have arthritis.
Now that you know all of the tips to consider before and after running, it’s time for you to get out there! Remember your stretches beforehand, and make sure you’re wearing the right gear. Don’t forget water either because dehydration is a serious issue when it comes to long-distance running. Take walking breaks every so often if need be, and remember not to overdo it with your mileage too soon. If any injuries occur from overexertion, don’t hesitate to see a doctor or physical therapist who can help guide you on recovery exercises that will address those specific needs. Your attending physician may also send you to an MRI technician to scan the injuries you have in your body. We hope these tips have helped arm yourself as part of an active lifestyle.