Let's face it. This pandemic has changed everything for everyone. It's taken a major toll on people's health. But it's also hurting our workouts. Maybe you loved your group fitness classes, but now gyms closed, so you've become a runner.
Now, that's a great way to get a workout in, while enjoying the benefits of the great outdoors. But, if you're a new runner, I want you to pay close attention to your sneakers. Because the shoes you wore for Zumba class might not work as well when you're running. Why won't a cross-trainer work well with runners?
Well, here's the deal: multi-purpose sneakers tend to be heavy. Running sneakers should be light-weight. That means they won't pull you down on your runs. So you can avoid extra impact on your feet when they strike the ground. Which is why you could be doing more bad then good if you switch up your sneakers, but not your workouts.
Now, let's talk about location. You could be a veteran runner. But you've switched to training on the treadmill to stick with social distancing. Again, I'm all about you sticking to your training in the safest way possible. But running outside is not the same as running on a treadmill. So, today, I'll walk you through some treadmill-related hazards. You need to avoid them if you're new to indoor runs. Or even if you're a regular gym rat who needs a quick refresher on the do's and don'ts of treadmill training.
Why are treadmill injuries so common?
Of course we all know that injuries are a part of sports and athletic pursuits.
When you are pushing your body to the limit, you have to know that you will get hurt from time to time. We can treat many common injuries without a visit to the doctor. But self-treating can lead to missed problems. Which can leave you sidelined from runs, CrossFit or even from chasing after the kids. And that downtime could last for so much longer than would otherwise be necessary.
Some people know the difference between a rolled or sprained ankle. But it's pretty hard to diagnose foot and ankle injuries. If you're not a podiatrist. So, please follow our guidelines for identifying and treating common treadmill injuries. But always remember: when in doubt, see your podiatrist. That's always the best and safest option.
What are the most common indoor running injuries?
Rolling your ankle is not quite the same as spraining your ankle. When you roll it, your ankle just starts to turn over. You will feel a sharp pain, but your ankle will not be pushed far enough to damage your tendons or ligaments. The best tactic for treating a rolled ankle is RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. It should be fine on its own in a few days. But, if it isn't, you may have sustained a...
Spraining your ankle is a slightly more severe injury, especially if you get a high ankle sprain. is a slightly more severe injury, especially if you get a high ankle sprain. This type of injury occurs when you twist your foot in a big way. Icing can be helpful, and you will need to immobilize the ankle for at least a week. You will also need to stay off your injured ankle for two to three weeks so that it can heal. And you will need to visit your podiatrist to rule out a more significant injury, like a fracture. And to make sure that your ankle is immobilized in a way that allows proper healing.
When hitting the treadmill, it is very common to pull a muscle in your calf or your thigh. This is especially true if you're guilty of skipping pre-workout warmups and stretches. To stay safe, try active warmups before a run. Think walking lunges, or any stretch that involves dynamic movements.
Still hurting? The best way to treat a pulled calf muscle is to stretch it out. Massage can help relieve your pain. It also brings more blood flow to your affected muscle so you heal faster. You will also need to take some time off from running. This is crucial: it's very easy to restrain a muscle. Especially if you return to full activity levels before you have healed.
Scrapes and Cuts
If you actually fall off of the treadmill, you could cut or scrape your arm. If it is not serious, wash it out and apply antibiotic cream. You can then bandage the cut and get back to your run. And make sure to pay attention when you step on a treadmill. Falls off moving treads cause serious problems, including head injuries or even death.
Are Indoor Runs Safe and Effective?
Here's my bottom line on treadmill training sessions: Running is a great sport. That's why I try to get in jogs whenever I can, and it's why I highly encourage my patients to enjoy this form of physical activity. But treadmill injuries are extremely common. So I also recommend taking your runs outdoors whenever possible. Especially now, when we are all spending more time at home.
If the treadmill is your best available option, of course I encourage you to stay active. All I ask is that you take care to avoid these common treadmill injuries. And come see me right away if any problems come up during or after one of your indoor training sessions.