You’ve heard all the advice a million times before, “make sure you stretch, listen to your body, warm up, start slow and build your stamina gradually.” Yet, once you’ve tied your laces and see that open road, you tend to go all out and push past all of the running advice you’ve ever heard or read. Unfortunately, when you exhaust yourself and quickly rack up the miles, it will only lead to injury. To make sure you finish your running goals successfully, here are 5 Tips to Prevent Running Injuries.
- Do not Stretch Too Deeply. Stretching is crucial, but you must know that taking it too far can be damaging. Some of the popular stretching techniques can be saved for after your run like doing deep lunges, hamstring pulls, and butterfly holds. If you’re running long distance, stretching too deeply before your run can actually do more harm than good.
- Don’t Jump in Too Quickly. Make sure you give your body time to prepare for running. You don’t want to go from a nap directly out onto the road for a run. If you were living a sedative lifestyle and decided to start running to add exercise to your life, make sure you give yourself time to train your body a little bit more each day. When you do too much too soon, it can lead to overuse injuries like knee injuries, fatigue, IT bands, shin splints, and burnout.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. Of course, you’ll get to the finish line faster if you speed up but that’s not always the best idea. When you push too hard and too often, it can lead to the above-mentioned overuse injuries. You want to give your body a break so that you can come back strong. If running is new to you, make sure you build a foundation first by walking first and then graduate to a light jog, and then running over time.
- Don’t Focus on Your Pace. When you focus on your running speed, you can negate your workout so measure your mileage by the distance rather than the time it takes you to finish it. Instead of setting your timers to an 8-minute run, set your running apps for distance instead. Monitoring your pace is fine, but it’s the outcome of your workout that you should stay focused on.
- Be Mindful of Your Posture. Improper posture generally comes from runners who try to assume a particular position when working out. Most people tend to run in an upright position with their head over their shoulders and hips. Yet, they end up leaning forward because someone advised them that it helps. Unnatural leaning can cause back pain, neck pain, and hip pain. So run in a way that is natural to you. Keep your upper body relaxed, look ahead, and try to use comfortable stride lengths. Your foot should land midway on the ground so that your body can automatically settle.
If you’re in the Charleston, SC area and believe that you’ve developed running injuries, contact our office for a consultation so we can get you on the right track.