Increase Over Time
One of the largest contributors to injuries is from runners trying to do too much, too soon, too fast. It is much better to slowly build up the amount of training that you are doing and to increase the intensity in small increments. Running, or any other form of exercise puts a significant amount of stain on our joints and muscles. Our bodies are designed to be resilient and to adapt but asking too much of them to quickly is a sure-fire way to have something go wrong.
Warm up / Cool Down
Make sure that you always warm up and cool down. This is one of the best ways that you can help your body avoid injuries. Start your run off with a few minutes of stretching and then a few minutes of walking or a light jog to allow your muscles to loosen up and prepare for a work out. Then after you are done running follow a good cool down routine.
Include Strength Training
Strength training is something that many runners do not enjoy and is often left out of a runner’s routine. However, running is a full boy experience and spending some time focused on the other muscles in your body can have a very positive impact. Strengthening your upper body and core can help improve your posture, increase stability, and improve your form. It will also reduce how quickly you tire.
Improving your flexibility, means that your muscles will be more forgiving in the case of an of step or wrong movement. More flexible muscles have greater endurance and a wider range of motion, this transfers into less stress on the muscle. This is a great way to reduce the frequency and risk of injury and will also help you feel better as you are running.
Improve Your Form
Ensuring that you are using proper running form is one of the best ways to help avoid getting injured and will also increase how effectively you run. Small things like changing your posture, or the position of your feet can make a huge difference in your form. There are many professional gait analysis clinics that can help with this. Another great alternative is getting a pair of smart shoes which can track your stride, gait, pronation ect. in real time and give you advice on how to improve.
To have the best version of you and reduce the risk of being hurt, as well as improve the speed of any recovery, it is important to make sure that you are taking care of your basic needs. Make sure that you are getting a full sleep each night. If you are not getting enough rest your body will be more prone to injury. Likewise, it is important to insure that you are eating health meals and drinking enough water, this is the fuel that you need in order to keep running at your best. Take care of yourself you are worth it.