How To Prevent Running Injuries
May 16, 2022
It’s almost Peachtree Road Race time! So, before you ramp up your training, it’s essential to know how to avoid injury. If you are an experienced runner, you know that injuries are inevitable. Studies suggest that up to 75% of runners get hurt each year.
Common injuries include blisters, shin pain, soft-tissue injuries like pulled muscles or ligament sprains, and skin injuries, ranging from sunburn to cuts and bruises if you fall.
Despite what you may read, the quality of your running shoes plays a small role in whether you hurt yourself on a run. More important is adding a few minutes to your workout to do a few common-sense things to make the most of every run.
- Warm up before running. Do plenty of slow and sustained stretches. Especially stretch the muscles in your thighs and calves.
- Cool down after running, doing those stretches after your workout helps to keep muscles loose.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run.
- Pace yourself. Increase how long you run over a few months.
- Wear layers of clothing to avoid overheating, which can lead to problems like chafing.
Most runners focus on the mechanics without thinking about their strength. Exercises that strengthen your core and improve flexibility will help to reduce injuries by increasing muscle strength and stamina.
Once you’ve strengthened your core, consider exercises to strengthen your legs and specific muscle so that you can tackle “heartbreak hill.”
Use Common Sense
Unless you are competing in a race, each run should focus on building for the next run. That means you don’t have to push yourself excessively to run faster and longer every day. Take your time to build to your goal. That will help you build strength and stamina, as well. And consider some common-sense tips:
- Avoid running near roads, where you’ll inhale harmful exhaust fumes – and could find yourself facing oncoming traffic.
- Avoid running during the hottest part of the day in summer. Mornings and evenings are usually cooler.
- Use real running shoes that will provide the support you need. Make sure those shoes fit properly to reduce the risk of blisters.
- Use a good sunscreen, with at least an SPF 30, even if you’re running in the morning or evening. It’s easy to get a painful sunburn.
- Consider training in a group. Being part of a running group usually provides more than company on a run. Running groups can offer tips on training, exercise, and fitness. And they provide the kind of encouragement that can get you through injuries you experience.
No matter what kind of running you do, take precautions. It’s easier to prevent injuries than treat them.
Ready to Get Out There – We Can Help
If you have questions about running injuries or want to make sure what your limits should be if you’re getting started, you should speak with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Grady can help. If you need a primary care physician, give us a call at (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.