September 24 2020 – Bre Bakan
If there is anything that’s worse than running, it’s not running. While getting out the door and suffering through a run some days can be tiring and downright annoying, most runners agree there is nothing worse than when you can’t suffer through a run. Injuries can happen to any runner, and dealing with them can be stressful and frustrating. We’re here to help!
Whether you are piling on heavy miles for marathon training, hitting the trails, or just out for a daily jog, anyone can benefit from injury prevention tactics. Check out these tips to keep you healthy and running!
Post-run stretch and roll. This is the easiest and most tried and true method to injury prevention. Post-run stretching and foam rolling is an easy way to relieve tight muscles and aches and pains.
You wouldn't just let your car sit and idle after driving it-- taking the time to stretch and roll out your tired muscles is like turning off your car. It gives your body a chance to properly cool down and begin to heal itself from the rigor of exercise.
Stretching and rolling help break down the lactic acid that forms from exercise, allowing your muscles easier recovery and increased circulation. Additionally, it can prevent muscles from becoming too tight and causing injury.
Pre-run dynamics. Just like stretching is a great way to cool your body down after exercise, dynamic activities are a great way to warm it up and get it ready for running. When you just jump right into a run, it's a shock to your body and you run the risk of damaging it.
Just to be clear-- dynamics aren't static stretches. Dynamic warm ups involve movement. This gets your muscles warm and blood flowing, allowing them to be more prepared for running.
There are lots of different dynamic drills you can do before a run—some of our favorites are butt kicks, high knees, skips, and lunges. Banded exercises; such as monster and crab walks, are also a great way to warm up your hips and glutes. You can also Google “dynamic drills” to get more suggestions.
Have a regular PT. Physical therapist are great for helping you get over injuries, but they’re also great for helping keep you from injuries as well! Having one that you see regularly for tune-ups can help keep you running and away from pesky injury problems. If you aren’t sure how to find one, ask around your local running group or running store. Odds are someone will have one that they see for running specific issues.
Have the right pair of shoes. While your running shoes may feel comfortable, if you weren’t properly fit for them, they might not be for you. Running shoes offer varying levels of support and cushion, and depending on your body type and gait, certain shoes will work better for you than others.
This can also be beneficial if you are starting to have aches or pains. Some shoes are better if you're struggling with plantar fasciitis, while others may work well for you if you're struggling with knee pain.
Any of our locations offer a fit process where our trained staff can analyze your gait, listen to your injury history, and talk to you about your training goals. Off of that, they can recommend shoes that will work best for you.
While we can’t guarantee that these tips will keep you injury free, we can guarantee it will improve your chances! If you want to avoid being sidelined by injury, being proactive with any (or ALL) of these tactics will better your odds. Happy running!