Running is a very engaging sport and in which we want to continually progress by lowering our marks or increasing the number of kilometers . It is very good that we want to push ourselves but we must take some precautions in order to avoid injuries that prevent us from reaching our goals.
We are going to give you some tips to run smart and minimize the likelihood of pain and injury in running.
1. Follow the 10% rule
Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% a week. If you increase the number of kilometers too fast you will be the perfect candidate to suffer an injury.
2. Warm up and calm down
It is very important that you warm up well before running, especially if you are going to do a race at a very intense pace. In the same way, it is also essential that after completion progressively go down the beats of your heart until they return to normal resting levels.
3. Take care of your running technique
Good running technique will allow you to run more efficiently – more miles with less effort. In addition, if it is deficient it can cause you some pain that you could easily avoid such as shin splints and back pain.
It is also recommended that you check if you have any anatomical imbalance (at the muscular level, one leg slightly longer than the other… etc.). To do this, you must visit a sports doctor who is capable of identifying and correcting possible biomechanical problems .
4. Change your shoes regularly
Running is a fairly inexpensive sport, but think that the investment you make in your sports shoes is going to be the best you are going to make to avoid problems in the future.
Make sure you choose the model that best suits you and your walking style and has good cushioning to alleviate the high impact of running. Replace them regularly, at least every 1000 kms driven .
5. Run on flat surfaces
It is true that running in the mountains from time to time is quite fun and that you give the body a different stimulus than if you run on a flat surface, but you can also subject your ligaments to totally unnecessary stress and increase the probability of suffering sprained or twisted ankle.
In the event that your main option for running outdoors is an uneven surface, you should pay special attention to your running technique and to tread correctly.
6. Add strength work to your routine
Even if your main goal is to improve your running records, you should not ignore gym work. Weightlifting can significantly increase your overall fitness, strengthen your bones, ligaments, and tendons, and tighten your muscles, making you better able to withstand the continued impact of running.
Pay special attention to strengthening the hips, since if we have weak hips we will have an imbalance and we will be more likely to suffer an injury (Niemuth, Johnson, Myers and Thieman, 2005).
7. Know your limits
Remember that overtraining is another of the main causes by which we can suffer injuries. Even if you like running a lot, make sure you rest at least one day a week, your body deserves it too.
It is also important that if you like to use different training methods that you intercalculate with each other. For example, if you want to do fartleks or hill climbs, run the next day at a comfortable pace that allows you to recover.
- Schwecherl, L. (2015). The Most Common Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them. For Greatist.com [Revised September 2015].
- Niemuth, PE, Johnson, RJ, Myers, MJ and Thieman, TJ (2005). Hip muscle weakness and overuse injuries in recreational runners. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 15 (1), 14-21.