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Injury Prevention: Preventing Common Running Injuries

Injury prevention is a very serious issue for those who run regularly, especially those who are in training for a particular race or event. In these cases injury prevention is not only important because it helps the runner to avoid a painful injury and potentially long recovery period but it is also critical because an injury can disrupt the training schedule and result in the runner not being properly prepared for the race or event. This article will provide some basic tips for runners which will help them to prevent injuries.

Well designed equipment which also fits properly can go a long way towards injury prevention for runners. One of the most important pieces of equipment for runners is their running shoes. Running shoes should fit properly, not be overly worn and should also ideally be designed to accommodate the runner’s style of running. Additionally, running shoes should be replaced regularly to prevent injuries which may result from the running shoe being overly worn out. A good recommendation for how often to replace a pair of running shoes is every 300-500 miles. Runners should keep a detailed training log with a section for accumulated miles since the runner started wearing a new pair of running shoes. This will allow the runner to easily determine when they have reached the 300-500 mile range on a particular pair of running shoes and are likely to be in need of a new pair in the near future.

Stretching regularly can also help runners to avoid injuries. One worthwhile recommendation for stretching is to stretch during and after a run. Many novice runners make the common mistake of thinking they should stretch before their run but this is not necessarily true. Runners who stretch before they run are stretching cold muscles which are not as pliable as muscles which have been warmed up with a short jog. For example if you are planning to go for a five mile run, you might want to consider jogging an easy one half mile or a mile before you stretch to give your muscles ample time to warm up and be more receptive to stretching. It is also a good idea to stretch after you have completed your run. This will help your muscles to cool down properly and will aid in the recovery process of the muscles. This is important because the muscles can tighten considerably during the course of the run. Stretching them afterwards will help to prevent a long term shortening of the muscles.

Finally, runners can help to prevent injuries by taking care to avoid doing too much mileage too quickly. An individual who has not been running at all and attempts to immediately start running 5-7 miles per day is likely to experience a number of different injuries. Those who have not been running regularly are advised to start out with only a couple of miles a day. Even experienced runners can cause injuries by attempting to increase their mileage too quickly. You should aim to make mileage increases as gradual as possible and try to limit yourself to increase of no more than 10% per week to avoid injuries commonly associated with overtraining such as shin splints and stress fractures.

Article courtesy of The Runners Guide website.