With the upcoming City To Bay event taking place, hundreds of runners will be training and preparing to do their best and run their hearts out.
Whether you’re fairly new to running or have been competing in marathons for decades, it’s essential that you always do everything possible to avoid injuries when training or simply running for pleasure.
Why not follow these simple tips to help you avoid injury whilst running? You’ll be able to enjoy this fantastic hobby for years to come.
One of the great things about running is that you don’t need much to do it – just throw on some sports clothes and get a pair of good running shoes. The shoes really are the key here – take some time to understand how you run and seek expert help as to which are the best shoes for you. You should see your running shoes as an investment and one of the best tools to help avoid injury.
- Gait Analysis
This is a really worthwhile thing to do. Understanding the biomechanics will help you to either adapt your running technique, or to use extras such as orthotics to help reduce the chance of injury when you’re running.
You’ve probably heard it before but it’s incredible the amount of people who still don’t stretch – either regularly or before running. Always make sure you stretch your muscles to warm them up, holding each stretch in place for around 30 seconds.
- Eat and Drink Well
You need to ensure that your body is properly prepared and nourished for any running that you do. Always include a balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your diet – and remember to refuel after you’ve exercised. It’s also essential that you stay hydrated so invest in a good water bottle.
- Get Strong
Many people expect their bodies to run for miles without actually ever taking the time to strengthen their muscles in order to do this. Try some gentle weight training or plyometrics. If you don’t have much equipment at hand, hill training is also a great way to build your strength.
- Make a Schedule
Rather than simply just going for jogs or runs whenever you feel like it, try and keep to a schedule. This will help you to track how far you’re doing, how regularly you’re managing to run and whether you’re improving on your timings. You can get great results through gently increasing your runs each week.
- Have a Rest
Also important to include in your training schedule are rest days. It’s really crucial that your body has time to recover from any running that you do and your muscles can repair between training sessions. Don’t fall into the trap of doing too much too soon.
- Cross Train
It’s important to include time in your schedule to continue improving your aerobic fitness without the stress or impact of running. Cross training can be a really useful solution here. If you don’t enjoy this, think about other aerobic exercises such as swimming.
- Cool Down
Once people have mastered the warm up idea, they often think that this is sufficient in terms of stretching. In fact, a cool down is really beneficial in helping to avoid injury whilst running. Just like with the warm up, adapt the length of your cool down to the length and intensity of the race.
- Enjoy It!
Don’t push yourself to a point where you’re no longer enjoying your running. This is meant to be something that you look forward to, want to excel at and take pleasure in. If you push yourself too hard, the chances are you’ll be more prone to injury and you won’t have as much fun.