For runners taking on a run for the first time, the key is to have a solid training base and a detailed plan that allows for a gradual increase in SPEED as well as DISTANCE. Here are Five tips for an injury-free run:
5 Tips to Prepare for an Injury-free Run
- Strength train two or 3 times a week, functionally. Running is great. Nevertheless, it can create muscle imbalances or increase ones that you already have. Your core, calves, quads, hams, hip muscles and arms need to work equally well for efficient running. When you strengthen all the links in the chain and maintain good flexibility from top to bottom, you will run stronger and stay injury-free.
- Wear the right kind of shoe for your running. See that they are not worn out and make sure that you replace them after every 500 miles of running. Have one pair of shoes for longer runs and another pair of shoes for shorter runs and fast speed workouts. IF possible, get a gait analysis
- Have proper warm ups and cool downs. Pre- and post-run stretching is very important in preventing injury. Dynamic stretches before a run and static stretches after a run work best.
- Keep yourself well hydrated in order to prevent depletion of electrolytes, and eventually muscle cramps.
- Correct your running biomechanics and run at the right skill level. Your trainer or physical therapist will best be able to help you with that. The basic aim is to avoid over striding and allow your feet to act as shock absorbers while running.
After these quick tips, let us look at the five most common mistakes new marathon runners can avoid and ensure a smooth injury free running stint.
A. Too Much. Too Soon. Too Fast
The most common issue that we see is the Terrible Too’s. You suddenly get up and start to train without a plan and end up doing “Too much. Too soon, Too fast”
And that is the most common cause of Injury!
Chalk out a plan of training! Even better, if you do it along with a trained expert. The training plan should strike a balance between speed and strength. It would help you build up stamina, strength and endurance gradually, without causing any injury.
B. Prevention is better than Cure
Always remember to warm up, before you start running. Many injuries can be avoided by:
warming up and stretching regularly
Spending 10 minutes to warm up before each run will definitely cost you much lesser time than if you injure yourself and wait back to recover.
However if you do injure, it’s best to see a physiotherapy expert immediately to chalk out a quick recovery plan.
C. Mix Things Up
It is very easy to get into a habit of running the same route, at the same pace during your training. That begins to limit your muscles and their strength.
“Mix things up!”
Challenge your body with harder runs on certain days and recover at a slower pace another day. This will work-out many more muscles in a much more variety and keep them prepared against injuries.
D. Keep Moving
Any good training plan needs no more than four days of running or walking every week. That’s not too much to do!
It is important that you don’t overdo it! And equally important, that you keep doing it sincerely! You can make the switch from run & Walk to only run if you
find it too easy. The day you feel, you’re not ready, continue to do walking! But ensure that you ‘Keep Moving’.
E. Look after your Body
While you train for your run, your body and muscles undergo a lot of wear and tear. Listen to your body! If you are tired, it’s a sign that the body needs rest! Overtraining immediately shows in form of decreased performance and injuries!
Look after your body. Swimming, Sauna or steam room can really help relax and stretch on a bit.
With these 5 things you can easily train for your run without worrying to injure yourself. Enjoy every step that you take to prepare yourself. Remember – “It only makes you stronger and better than what you were before!”