Nothing can take the bounce out of your stride like an injury. Keep yourself on the right track by following these simple, practical and effective tips for avoiding injuries while running.
5. Avoid Running On Concrete
Did you know that concrete is about 10x worse at absorbing shock than asphalt? It’s important to run on a surface that isn’t as hard as concrete, for the most part. In the short term it’s not something you’ll necessarily notice, but if you run a lot on concrete then your joints will start to get more and more sore, and worn out prematurely. This is one of the easiest running injuries to avoid, simply by choosing a better surface to run on. Asphalt is a good choice, so is grass. There are undoubtedly running tracks in your community, so next time you’re going for a run consider some other options.
4. Do A Proper Warm-up
There has been some debate over the effectiveness of stretching before workouts, with some suggesting that it’s the post-workout stretching that matters most. In either case, there’s no doubt over the importance of warming up before any type of physical activity. Take a minute or two and break a quick sweat before you hit the track, get yourself warmed up, and you’ll have a better run!
3. Don’t Over-Train
One of our most important tips for avoiding injury in general is to not over train. Know your limits! It’s one thing to keep going and to battle past the fatigue, but if you overdo it then you’re risking any number of injuries. If you like to run in marathons, then injuries are almost certainly going to happen, and that’s just kind of understood amongst runners.
2. Pay Attention
There are countless obstacles that you may encounter on your run, such as broken glass, needles, sharp rocks or even simply a small hole in the sidewalk or a steep curb. Regardless, you’ve got to be ready for anything. Not only are there environmental obstacles to worry about, but if you’re running around at night by yourself, you’ve got to be concerned about people who are up to no good as well. This isn't meant to scare you, but just use common sense. The middle of the night isn't the best time to go for a run in a dimly lit park with your headphones on full blast. You don't have to live in fear, simply plan your routes out to avoid unsafe situations.
1. Find Proper Footwear
It’s very common for runners to injure their feet. To take a much more in-depth look on that topic, you can read this study by Harvard. One of the best ways to prevent foot injuries is simply to wear proper shoes. There are two schools of thought when it comes to choosing shoes. One camp prefers sturdy and firm running shoes with ample support and padding for comfort. On the other side of the fence are those who prefer barefoot running, with the theory being that our feet were created for carrying us so they don’t need any extra help from shoes. Somewhere in the middle are minimalist running shoes, also known as barefoot running shoes, which are very thin and light, and contour to the shape of your feet. When you’re running barefoot, you’ve got to take extra care to pay attention because one little pebble or piece of broken glass and you’ll be out of commission for a while.
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Running Injuries...
The very best way to keep running often is to make sure you don't get hurt. So, if that means calling it a day a little earlier than you want to in order to avoid overworking your joints and muscles, so be it! Nobody knows your own body better than you do, so listen to what your body is telling you, pay attention and run safe!