Preventing Injuries

Here are some of my tips for preventing injuries. These work for me. If you have some you’d like to share send them in!

Listen to your body

A safe and easy way to prevent injuries is to listen to your body. Your body will signal to you when it is going to shut down, listen to those signals and pay heed to it when you get those signals to stop and take a few days off.

Don’t take on too much too quickly – Most injuries are caused by doing too much to fast, such as increasing your mileage to fast or sprinting to fast.

Take it slow.

Switch it up – Incorporate some different tactics into your routine. Try some weightlifting, hill running, speed workouts and stretching to switch things up a bit. Changing your routine helps utilize different muscles you may be neglecting and helps prepare you for unexpected obstacles.

Rest

Rest and recovery are always important. Rest at least two days per week.

Change your sneakers often – Buy a few pairs sneakers and don’t use the same pair every day. Also, change up your running route a bit, if you are running clockwise every day try anti-clockwise.

Stretch

Stretching is very important, particularly after long runs. Take time and do at least a half an hour of stretching after long runs. This will help reduce fatigue and keep flexibility in your muscles for your next workout.

Many injuries are caused by not stretching. Stretching when we are injured which is wrong. Complete isolation is required when injured.

Unlike other runners I cannot take medication for pain like Tylenol, Advil or aspirin, I must let my body recover naturally which is a much longer process for this complete rest is required. All I can do is eat right and apply massage therapy, ice, and heat.

So remember to vary your training and not to work the same muscle too often, rest, recovery and replenishment is part of the training also, so run smart.

Leg Cramps

What is the real scoop with this problem, is it dehydration or lack of electrolytes, well for me it’s just lack of training. 

I use to do six miles a day and wanted to run a marathon and boy did I pay for it, I crashed at mile 13 severe cramps, and I see it all the time with other runners.

Yes, too much racing can be another cause or back to back long training run can be a factor.

My theory, do not wait for race day to see if you can run a distance do it in training a couple of times.

Build confidence and strength over the distance no matter if you are running a 10k or marathon, the same principle applies.


I strongly recommend weight training for the legs, work one leg at a time and you will see great results, this way you do not favor the stronger leg over the weaker and strength is developed evenly.

We all have a dominant side and we hardly pay attention to it when training.

This is why I sometimes run anti-clockwise and clockwise in circuit training to help use my other leg as the driving leg.

Chin Splints

A sharp knife pain along the shin bone when running or after a workout.

Cause of problem:

Excessive pounding too fast too soon. Sprinting on a very hard surface at an early point in your training especially when you are not in peak performance.

Another reason could be your running shoes, examine if they are good and has enough cushion.

A weak muscle can be the cause as well especially weak calf muscle.

Not warming up properly another factor, try to warm up gradually and jump straight into racing pace.

Lack of stretching, try to stretch after every workout; give your muscle the flexibility it needs to repeat workouts.

Your muscle rebel when you push your training to fast this is one of the first symptoms of it. Try to ease of training and rest a couple of days.

For the first 72 hours apply an ice pack to the injured area, leave pack until it burns a while then take pack off, re-apply several times.

After 72 hours heat can be applied a damp wet cloth soaked in hot water drain cloth and apply cloth with durable temperature, try not to burn your self  or skin.

Pain killers can also be taken into consideration, check with medical professional first.

During your rehab, you might consider cross-training, biking and weights or swimming, I strongly recommend weight training. Before serious running training starts, I recommend interval jogging together with weight training.

This will give you a better idea where you are in your rehabilitation process.

For now, just rest and recover.

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