How To Prevent Running Injuries

How To Prevent Running Injuries

2020 has seen more people trying to manage their health and exercise more frequently. The gyms and other leisure facilities have been closed for the last 12 months or so as a result of the pandemic and national lockdowns. People have had to find alternative ways to exercise – and this has led to a real surge in the numbers of runners out there pounding the pavement on a regular basis.

While it’s great that people have been really proactive about their health and haven’t let the situation put them off exercise, which is arguably even more important now during a public health crisis from both a physical and mental wellbeing perspective, it’s important to make sure you know how to run properly so you don’t put too much stress and strain on your body.

One of the best ways to ensure you remain injury-free is to not push yourself too hard too soon. You should aim to increase your running mileage very slowly each week and spread it out over the course of several days, adding around a mile per day to help reduce the risk of injury.

By the same token, you should also stick to a set mileage for a couple of weeks before you increase it, as this will give your legs a chance to get used to the new workload. Overtraining can really increase your risk of injury, so be strict with yourself and make sure you’re ready before you increase your distance.

The right running shoes is also key, so make sure that yours fit you well and they’re not worn out. It can be helpful to have gait analysis done (when we’re out of lockdown) so you can make sure you’ve bought the right type of shoe, one that suits your running style. Look to replace your shoes every 350 to 500 miles, in order to keep your feet, legs, knees and hips in good health.

A big part of staying healthy while running is what you do on your days off and myofascial release is a very useful tool if your muscles start feeling tight and inflexible. Invest in a good-quality foam roller and use it to ease your aching muscles after a run. You may find that your next run feels a lot better afterwards, as well.

And don’t forget about your other muscles, as well. Strengthening exercises are essential if you want to improve as a runner and keep injuries at bay. Aim to do 15 minutes of body weight and strengthening exercise a few times a week, focusing on your core muscles, glutes, abductors and adductors, which will help make you feel more stable when you run.

Common injuries include plantar fasciitis, which is where the fascia that runs from your heel bone to where your toes attach becomes irritated and inflamed. Stretching and physical therapy can help treat your symptoms if this is something you’re suffering with.

Once lockdown is over, book in for a sports massage at Frimley osteopathy clinic OsteoVision.