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How can you avoid running injuries?

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Running Injuries

How can you avoid running injuries?

Dr L Tomar
Orthopaedics
Orthopaedics
Senior Consultant

Running injuries are one of the most common laments by new runners on the block. Too much, too soon is the primary reason why your body suffers from injuries during training. Over-exertion and faulty training practices are the prime reasons that lead to injuries.

It is important to constantly warm your body and listen to it during training. Injuries hamper the progress of your training schedule and it also shifts the focus of your run. But running related injuries are preventable, by taking a few precautions.

Here are a few useful tips to help you reduce the risk of being injured during a run:

1. Warm up before and cool down after a run.

  • Muscle cramps and soreness can be kept at bay with a simple 10 minute warm up before and after a run.
  • This flushes out the lactic acid in your muscles and prepare them up for a smooth, cramp-free run.

2. Make strength training a must

  • For enhanced endurance and strength, runners swear by including strength training exercises in their training program.
  • A minimum of 2-3 strength training sessions per week will prevent muscle fatigue.
  • Training with weights, plyometrics and running uphill are all good exercises to strengthen all muscle groups.

3. Stay hydrated

  •  Dehydration will lead to faster muscle fatigue. Avoid it by drinking about 400-600 ounces of fluids about 2 hours before a run.
  • Fluids with electrolytes are an effective option to keep yourself hydrated during a run.
  • Your body is the best indicator about your hydration levels. Whenever you begin to feel thirsty, drink plenty of water.

4. Add variety to your training program

  • Running is an intense activity. Gradually increasing the intensity, duration and amount of your training will gear your body to handle the stress during running.
  • Practice aerobics to improve your lung capacity.
  • Consult your trainer or a sports doctor for a customised training program.

5. Cross-train and take breaks

  • Swimming, rollerblading and playing soccer are very good cross-training exercises to improve your fitness levels.
  • Take days off from your training program to allow your body to heal and recover from the running.

6. Talk to an expert

  • Seek expert advice from seasoned runners or trainers specialized in running biomechanics. Their tips will help improve your form and running economy.
  • You can also design a training program specific to your set goals, with the help of an expert.
  • Experts can suggest the right kind of shoe/orthotic to choose, so that you avoid injuries while training.

7. Choose the right shoe

  • The most common injuries to runners occur by running in the wrong shoes.
  • Choose running shoes from specialized stores and try them on before buying.
  • Your shoe should be best-suited to the shape and size of your feet.
  • Change your running shoes after 400 miles of usage.

For a good run, watch your health and stay injury-free. Injuries will slow you down as well as take away precious time from your training schedule. Follow these simple tips and have an injury-free run.