As a runner you are more than likely bound to experience running injuries at some time during your “running life”. It is so easy to mess up and end up with some wonderful problem that forces you to take time off from your running. This can be extremely frustrating to deal with especially if you have a big race coming up. To avoid incurring an injury though, you should look at what causes injuries and if you have one already, why you have one at all.
Knowing why and how you got an injury will actually benefit you if you take what you have learned to prevent the same injury and other injuries.
1. Dehydration is a huge contributing factor when it comes to injuries. Lack of fluids will cause cells to break down and take longer to recover. Click this link to see how much water you should be getting.
2. Increasing mileage per week too quickly. You should really only be increasing your longest run by about 2-3 miles per week. Adding too many miles to your longest run is a prime reason for injury if your body is just not ready for it.
3. Your longest run is not proportional to your weekly mileage. A good rule of thumb to go by is to never let your long run be more than half of your totally weekly mileage. Keep a balance and you will be better able to avoid injuries.
4. Not resting enough especially after long runs (you should be giving yourself at least one easy day after a long run). Also incorporate at least 1-2 days where you do some non-running activity which will help you recover and gain strength.
5. Pushing yourself too hard. It is good incorporate hard workouts into your routine but know your limits! Too much of anything is never a good thing.
6. Adding speed workouts before you are ready. Speed exercises are highly fatiguing and lead to a breakdown in cells. If you haven’t set a base for your speed workouts then you are setting yourself up for injury. You also should only be doing at the most 1-2 sessions of speed workouts per week since they are highly stressful on your body.
7. Not warming up properly. You should begin by running easy for at least 5 minutes before doing any kind of stretching. You should also never jump into a workout, especially a speed workout without warming up your muscles. It is a sure recipe for disaster!
8. Wearing poor fitting running shoes,
or shoes with too many miles on them, is a major factor in running
injuries and can make you particularly prone to developing Achilles
tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Check out this link to see tips on finding the best running shoes for you!
9. Not listening to your body. It is fine to ignore or try to take your mind off of a blister or some other annoyance but don’t push hard when your body is feeling too sore or fatigued. Rest it out.
10. Beginning to exercise to soon after an injury. Allow yourself time to recover. If you don’t give yourself enough to catch up and begin running too soon you could very well develop a long-lasting serious problem which will keep you on the couch far longer than you would ever want.
Becoming aware of what causes running injuries will save you from days or months of frustration from injuries. If however you are suffering are have suffered from injuries, whether serious or not, you will probably be more motivated to take preventive measures to avoid injuries which is actually a benefit to becoming injured.