Top Tips for Preventing Running Injuries

You probably already know that you should warm up, hydrate properly, and increase the distance of your runs gradually. And yet, many of us still do the wrong things when we run and end up with painful injuries. Here are several tips on how to avoid those aches and run pain-free.

Tip #1: Refrain from overtraining

Training hard is good work ethic, but make sure you don’t overtrain. Running too far and exercising too intensely, too soon can lead to a running injury. When you boost your running distance and training intensity, see to it that you limit your increments by only 5 to 10 per cent each week. A gradual approach would help you meet and exceed goals without the risk of injury.

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

To avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion, hydrate a couple of hours before your training or competition. Ideally, you should consume around 16 to 20 ounces of fluids, plus an additional 8 to 10 ounces after your warm-up. Within two hours after your training, drink around 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of weight you lost during your work-out. Instead of water, drink a chilled 6 to 8 per cent carbohydrate solution like Gatorade or Powerade.

Tip #3: Add strength training to your routine

There’s more to running than just…running. If you want to take running seriously and prevent injuries, then you should also incorporate strength training into your routine to develop muscle and athleticism. Why? Strength training curbs muscle fatigue, which could lead to injuries. Adding exercises like plyometrics, weightlifting, and hill running would improve several muscle groups and boost your overall strength.

Tip #4: Warm up and cool down properly

It’s necessary to warm up and cool down properly before and after every run to prevent injuries, avoid delayed muscle soreness, and get rid of lactic acid in your muscles. However, you shouldn’t stretch too deeply especially before races since it could actually make your muscles feel slow. A 5 to 10-minute warm up should be enough to loosen your muscles, improve your performance, and avoid injuries.

Tip #5: Develop and maintain your flexibility

Speaking of stretching, you’ll need to make it a habit to improve and maintain your flexibility, which is necessary in avoiding running injuries. Do not take stretching for granted—not doing enough or doing too much could lead to sluggishness, poor performance, or worse. Hold each stretch in place for about 30 seconds. For running, try to include stretching exercises like skipping, cross-body arm swings, arm circles, and bounding.

Tip #6: Wear the right kind of running shoes

Wearing the wrong shoes can cause pain in your feet, hips, legs, or knees. To find the right shoes, you have to determine your foot type and running style. Foot type is based on your foot’s structure and degree of pronation (i.e. the inward rolling of your foot while running as it hits and pushes off the ground). To get the right pair for you, visit a specialty athletic footwear store. If you have a biomechanical foot problem, have your gait analysed as you may need orthotic inserts.

Tip #7: Balance hard and easy days

Don’t make the mistake of pushing yourself too hard. You need to space rest between hard and easy training days to give your body time to recover and make the most of your workouts. So if you went through a tough session the other day, put in a more relaxed workout the next time. To determine the degree of difficulty, check your breathing.

Related Articles:

Back to blog

Leave a comment