Did you know that the majority of runners have suffered a running injury in the past 12 months? Running is of course a great way to stay active and keep fit, but there’s several factors that can contribute to injuries while running. We’ve put together a list of our favorite tips to keep your running routine from running you into the ground.
Practice Moderation – The majority of runners we see for injuries have this one thing in common; they go too hard too fast. Your body gets stronger with small increases in stress over time, but big increases over short periods of time do damage. A good rule of thumb is to never increase more than 10% per week, which goes for both distance and speed. Try alternating increases in speed one week and distance the next for the safest way to get those gains you want.
Cross Train – Cross training is a great way to prevent injuries. Activities like swimming and cycling can give you body a great workout while giving your body a much needed break from all that pavement pounding. Not only will your joints thank you but you get to work out these different muscle groups, which in turn will make your runs easier and more enjoyable.
Replace Old Shoes – Probably one of the most preventable of injuries are caused by worn out shoes. Podiatrists agree that you should replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles or about every 6 months; whichever comes first, just like an oil change for your car. If you run 3 or more days a week, try rotating between two pairs of shoes. This will get you more miles out of each pair, and changing shoes often can help prevent repetitive stress injuries.
Upgrade Your Socks – If you’re serious about running then it’s time to say farewell to those old cotton socks. Cotton can hold moisture against the skin and lead to blisters, calluses, and athlete’s foot fungus. Opt instead for socks made of materials designed to wick moisture away from your body, like synthetics or merino wool.
Pay Attention To Your Body – Contrary to what your high school gym coach said, pushing through the pain is never a good idea. Continuing to run if you’re in pain can actually make the injury far worse. If you have pain when you run, stop running! Take a few days off or try some light cross training. If worse comes to worse then try the R.I.C.E. protocol – rest, ice, compress and elevate. If the pain persists more than 4 or 5 days then it’s most likely that you’re hurt. Time to make your way to your local podiatrists office.
If these tips don’t provide any relief from pain then come in to your nearest Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC and let our seasoned podiatrists and staff help you get back to running the kind of miles you want.