Incurring injuries can pass as one of the greatest nightmares of many runners, which is why it is very important for every runner to be extra cautious down the road. Many factors contribute to the runner’s tendency to get injured; still, there are many ways to prevent running injuries. Here are some:
1. Commit yourself to a warm-up. The general rule in any type of workout: Warm-up before you go. Doing so gives you a chance to prepare your body for the oncoming work and prevents the likelihood of injuries. Before a run, loosen up your legs, walk for some minutes, then do some stretching. Similarly, cooling down at the end of the run is important to reduce muscle pain. Do this by closing your workout with brisk walking or slow running. Then, do stretches.
2. Avoid overtraining. The surest way to incur injuries is to overtrain and overwork your body. Sadly, many runners, in an attempt to increase their mileage and intensity just too soon, pushes their body beyond its capability and so put their selves at a great risk of injury. Two things you need to remember. One, weekly mileage increase shouldn’t be more than 10%. Two, speed buildup is a gradual process. Next time you feel like going farther and faster, ask if your body is capable of the demands, then let sound judgment overtake you.
3. Take some breaks. This is especially important if you feel soreness in your muscles or are overly tired. A day or two of missed run is better than subjecting your already fatigued body to a possibility of injury. Listen to your body well and take note of pain, or any other hint, that tries to communicate it is not up for the challenge.
4. Use good shoes. You know you need to replace your shoes when they have reached around 300 to 400 miles. By then, their shock absorption has degraded and their soles have worn-out, leaving them unsafe for running.
5. Keep from concrete surfaces. Not only are they hard, they also are not very good shock absorber. Instead, run on dirt or grass trails, or somewhere there is a soft surface. This will put less pressure on your legs. Also, avoid running up and downhill to prevent stressing your feet.
6. Do cross-training activities. The purpose of cross-training is to develop and strengthen your running muscles through other physical means such as swimming, biking, and hiking. It is best to incorporate cross-training activities in your running program at least once a week. Remember, however, that cross-training activities are supposed to improve your stamina and not to stress your body out and leave you with less energy for running.
7. Observe rehabilitation measures should you suspect any injury. Doing so will prevent injury complications and speed up the recovery process. You can do a massage and cold therapy to ease a minor injury. For more serious cases, consult with a doctor immediately. To further prevent running injuries, do not resume to running unless you are fully recovered.