Injury Prevention For Runners
Injury Prevention For Runners
Running is fantastic for fitness, calorie burn, fat loss, building stamina and resistance and for promoting a good mood. It’s free, aside from our running gear, and we don’t need any fancy equipment to pull on our trainers, get outside and put one foot in front of the other. Regular running is a great cardio addition to your OYG workouts too!
But running can also result in certain injuries that, if we’re not careful, can hamper our progress and even set us back from owning our goals. Common running injuries range from blisters (that can be SO painful!) to cuts and bruises if we fall, pulled muscles and sprained joints such as ankles and knees. Long distance running can lead to injuries such as runners knee, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome.
So here’s our top tips on preventing injuries when we’re out running…
- First up, running isn't a race, and although we made light of it above by saying all we need to do is put one foot in front of the other, we do actually need to be prepared. Start off slowly, a fast walk is ideal if you’re completely new, building up to a slow jog, increasing your speed and distance over the weeks as you get more confident and increase your fitness level.
- Warming up is essential for preventing running injuries, whether we’re experienced or not. Dedicate five minutes to stretching - warm muscles are less likely to suffer sprains and strains. Choose one of our warm up workouts to guide you. Then when you’re done, a quick five minute cool down session is also advisable to help prevent tight, overtrained muscles.
- Choose flat, even terrain if you're new to running, sticking to pavements where possible, before building up to grassy terrain and hills. Always keep your wits about you by being aware of traffic, pedestrians, dogs off their leads and obstacles, keep music to a low volume and always carry a phone that can help if you get lost or you do have an injury.
- Never push yourself too hard at the beginning, aim for circuits rather than running out too far from home and ideally run with a buddy for both motivation and help if you need it.
- The right shoes are essential, and are worth investing in to ensure they’re cushioning your joints and supporting your ankles from rolling over as well as being a good fit. Many sports shops offer a free gait analysis that will help you find the right shoes for your feet and running style.
- Running injuries can also include dehydration and sunburn - so ensure you take a bottle of water with you and you wear an SPF on exposed skin on hot days. A cap and sunglasses will also protect you from the sun. In cold or wet weather, make sure you also wear appropriate clothing, layers are great for peeling off and tying around your waist if you then get too warm.
- Finally, if you do suffer an injury or something simply doesn't feel right (‘negative’ pain that comes on suddenly or as a result of a trip, twist or stumble, as opposed to the ‘positive’ pain we feel when we know we’re working our muscles hard) then it’s important to stop straight away. Carrying on can make an injury worse, so rest is important. If you're concerned about something, then arrange to see your GP.
Run safe, and enjoy the freedom running gives you!
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