Injury Treatment & Prevention
Running is a great activity for exercise, stress relief, social activities and family fun. Running is however a repetitive exercise so runners who do a lot of mileage or who are increasing their mileage should be careful to avoid injuries that may sideline them for a short or long time.
Runners are a dedicated group, and an injury can be a real bummer. Runners often try to “run through” an injury and end up with a bigger problem. The physical side of injury is one consideration but the mental and spiritual aspect is no less important. Runners love to run and not getting your regular dose of endorphins can cause you to question your very identity as a runner.
4 Things to Consider
Often injuries result from tight muscles and the excessive strain they put on connective tissues and even bones. Dynamic stretching before runs helps warm up the body, but more prolonged stretching should be done after runs to increase flexibility. Make time for it. A little prehab goes a long way.
Stretching. Runners are in great shape, but they tend to get tight here and there. Some areas that may need attention are. Hamstrings, hip flexors, groin and low back. If we keep these muscles flexible, it spreads the stress of running over several areas of the body, allowing better efficiency and less chance of injury. As a general rule, dynamic stretching is a great pre-run routine, and more prolonged, passive stretching post workout will add flexibility over time.
Running requires a lot of some muscle groups and not so much from others. This leads to an imbalance in muscle strength in some areas of the body increasing the risk of injury. To address these imbalances, runners should visit a Physical Therapist and get some advice on which groups need more attention. Strength training also improves performance as it improves anaerobic capacity and explosive power. Many runners cross-train in different sports specifically because it gives them a competitive advantage.
3. Keep Moving
For minor injuries (and following your doctor’s recommendation), one strategy is to keep moving but limit your miles or add more rest days as you recover, this way you will not lose all your hard earned conditioning during your recuperation. After a major injury and a period of no running at all, the general rule is “start low and go slow” meaning start with a distance you find easy and gradually ramp up to a significant distance over a period of weeks or months. Some runners switch to a different sport such as swimming or cycling to maintain their conditioning while their running injury recovers.
4. Check In with Your Team
When setting new goals or training for a new event, check in with your support team: You may have a coach, Physical Therapist or footwear expert who can advise you on how to proceed with training and ultimately be successful. There are lots of different ways to run, from 5ks to marathons and adventure races, each comes with its own challenges and rewards. If you use the resources and expertise at your disposal, you be surprised at what you can achieve.
Running Injuries Blog
Injury Treatment & Prevention