I thought I'd share a few quick tips for helping prevent injuries in runners. There are a ton more ways to mitigate and avoid the overuse injuries that typically pop up in runners but these are 5 quick and easy ones to think about integrating into your training.
1 dynamic warmup
Warming up properly is the first step to staying injury free. We do it before our Track Workouts and our Recovery Run for a reason. We need to wake up, warm up and activate the muscles and tendons we are going to use for our run. According to Mike Silva of Foundation Performance "warming up is not a slow run, it is a combination of exercises to help wake up your neurological system and warm up the muscles and tendons that you need for your run.” Here is a link to a video with a few dynamic warmups to get you started.
2 increase mileage slowly
Mike also likes to talk about avoiding the too, toos. Not the tu tus. The too, toos. Too much, too soon, too quickly. A lot of injuries pop up when you are either starting to get back into running or are increasing your mileage to train for a longer distance. A good rule of thumb is increasing by 10% of your weekly mileage, however it is important to spread that mileage out across the week. Don't just add it to your long run. You also do not have to increase by 10% every week, staying at the same mileage for two or three weeks gives your body time to adapt to the workload. Take it easy. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
3 focus on form
Forget Good Form Running. How about Great Form Running!? Take some time to focus on your form and you'll find yourself focusing less on injuries. We practice Good Form Running here at the Rhode and its because, its simple, its easy and it works. Posture, Midfoot, Cadence and Lean. Click here to watch a video about good form running and click below to sign up for our next clinic.
4 stay hydrated and eat healthy
Hydrating properly and eating healthy are two important steps to staying injury free. Avoid heat exhaustion by consuming 16-20 oz. of fluids before your run and 8-10 oz after your warmup. After the run re-hydrate with an electrolyte replacement drink to prevent cramping and muscle fatigue. Eat as soon as you are finished with your run, 5-20 minutes after your run your muscles are receptive to fuel a 4 to 1 ratio of protein to carbs is recommended to help repair damage to your muscles.
5 foam roll
Work out the kinks. Foam rolling is super helpful to help work out the adhesions that build up on your muscles after a workout. If a muscle has these adhesions it does not contract uniformly and can lead to pain and injury. Foam rolling also increases blood flow to the muscles and create flexibility to help with mobility and recovery after a run.
So thats 5 quick tips for staying injury free, this post literally could be called 500 quick tips for staying injury free but there is only so much time in the day! I think the important thing is to remember to think about preventing injuries. The folks who take care and do the little things like strength training, foam rolling, warming up, stretching etc...are the same folks who will be running for miles with a smile on their face. So slow down a bit think about your training and help yourself stay injury free. If you ever have any questions do not hesitate to reach out!
See you on the Rhode!