How to Avoid Injuries When
You Begin Running
Buy good shoes
running shoes to buy depends on a number of factors: your feet, the amount of
running you plan to do, the surfaces that you will be running on, and more.
time to find a store that specializes in running shoes and has knowledgeable
replace your shoes every 300-500 miles.
before stretching, and stretch before running.
the benefits of stretching before running have not been scientifically proven,
runners tend to have tight muscles, particularly in their hamstrings and
calves, and thatís where many injuries occur.
training, particularly for the hips, increases stability throughout the whole
length of the leg. Include exercises to strengthen the abductors, adductors,
and gluteus maximus in your regular fitness routine. Strengthening your core
muscles is also important.
of strengthening exercises is to balance the body, keeping it properly aligned
and therefore less susceptible to injury.
Donít stick to just running
training, by taking a day off from running per week and doing another activity
that will increase fitness but not aggravate an existing injury, will help to
avoid running injuries. Swimming, cycling, using an elliptical training, and
rowing are some possibilities.
Donít overdo it
doing too much, too soon, too fast. The body needs time to get used to changes
in mileage or intensity. Muscle fibers torn during exercise need adequate recovery
is often given to limit any training mileage increase to 10 percent per week. This
is not foolproof, however. An assistant professor at the University of Calgary
has the first-time runners in his program increase their mileage by only 3
percent a week, with a 97 percent rate of success getting them into a marathon,
fit and injury-free.
an increase of only 3-5 percent a week. Keep a log of your weekly mileage and
how you feel after each run.
Pay attention to your body
something hurts, stop running. Donít run through any soreness, ache, or pain.
Your body is telling you that you have damaged it and it needs you to stop what
youíre doing so it can heal.
are sore or in pain, take three days off. Do something else, like swimming,
gentle walking, or cycling. On the fourth day, do half your regular easy-day
program and go much slower. Build up gradually and pay attention to your body.
Be prepared to scale back again if necessary.
Shorten your stride
your stride by 10 percent means your foot will land more softly with each step,
which means a less forceful impact, which means less chance of a stress
fracture to the tibia.
Run on a level surface
on a cambered road, facing the traffic, is a safe way of running, but it means that
one foot is always hitting the road lower on the slope than the other. Therefore
one foot is constantly over-pronating while the other under-pronates,
increasing the likelihood of injury.
treadmill or run on a level track at least part of the time. When on a track,
run at a slow pace to avoid the unequal torque on your feet and legs when
always turning in one direction.