Even though a big part of my job is helping runners stay safe as they train for big races like marathons and triathlons, we all know that doctors make the worst patients, so I’m sharing some sage advice I saw on Popsugar about staying injury-free while running. We should all take a close look, even if (like me) you think you already know everything there is to know about race training. Enjoy and stay safe!
A lot of running-related knee, shin, hip and back pain can be attributed to muscular imbalances. When some leg muscles are stronger than others, they can pull on your igaments and make you hurts. For example, if shin splints are giving you grief, strengthening the muscles in the lower front legs can help alleviate some pressure and reduce your discomfort.
Instead of trying to run as fast as you can, focus on running set distances at the same pace, gradually working up to faster times and longer runs. Be sure to listen to your body—if a quicker pace hurts, slow it down and give your self more time to adjust to a new speed.
Intervals are Awesome
Short sprints at fast paces not only build up your lung capacity and endurance, they also give your body a welcome break from long, plodding runs and encourage you to mix up your workouts, one of the keys in preventing running injuries.
Always Stretch. Always.
No matter how pressed for time you are, leave at least 10 minutes at the end of your workout to stretches your hamstrings, quads, hips and hip flexors, glutes, calves, shins, and lower back. Before beginning your true workout, aim to jog about a mile, then engage in movement-based stretches like high knee kicks or standing leg swings that warm you up and make you less likely to get hurt.
The safest place to log running miles is in the pool, wearing a flotation device or even standing in the shallow end. You’ll get all the benefits of training without putting strain on your knees, legs and feet.
Like these tips and want more ideas for how to stay safe while you train for a race? Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive running evaluation with Dr. Andrew Schneider today!