I recently attended a session hosted by physiotherapists who discussed the things us runners can do to help prevent injuries. We all know doing a warm-up and cool-down for each run is important – I wonder though how many people reading this blog skip them, even when they know it’s important 😉 – but there is so much more to injury prevention and supporting the body when an injury does occur.
Here are some of the key takeaways that I thought would be beneficial to share with you:
- As soon an injury occurs, take 7-14 days off of running. I know this a horrible thought for most runners, but taking that time as soon as an injury occurs could be the different between the injury being acute (short term) or turning chronic (long term). During this time, if the injury allows, still continue with other forms of movement as long as it doesn’t use the injured area – for example, if the injury is at the ankle, spend those 2 weeks working on core and upper body.
- Unless the injury occurred suddenly, for example tripping over the curb and hurting your ankle, then the injury has likely occurred from overuse or muscle imbalance. It’s important to address the reason the injury occurred, or it will continue to plague you.
- Cross training helps with muscle imbalances, so if running is currently your only form of movement, consider adding in new activities to your weekly schedule – swimming, spin, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, etc.
- Break in new running shoes before starting to use them for your runs. So whether that is wearing them around your home for a few days, or going on short walks, doing this will allow your feet to get used to them before taking them out for runs.
- Keep track of the mileage that you’ve done in your running shoes (walking also is included in this overall total). Once you’re at 500-700km, even though the outside of the shoe will still look good, the structure of the shoe will break down as will much of its shock absorption.
- And finally, sleep is an incredible part of injury prevention! I’ve been really focusing on getting over 9hrs sleep a night recently, and now I feel even better knowing that not only is the extra sleep helping me emotionally and mentally, but also physically as well!
HELLO, I’m Gillian, a running and nutrition coach based in Toronto, Canada. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, it really means a lot to me. If you are interested, I have MORE:
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