Content from: Team Saucony
There’s nothing worse than being sidelined because you’re hurt. Strains, sprains and shin splints are common among runners of all experience levels. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce your chances of getting injured.
To avoid hanging up your running shoes this season, follow our tips for staying healthy and pain-free.
Don’t Push It
Experts agree that overtraining is a sure way to wear your body down. It can be tempting to train as intensely as possible, but running too fast or too often can do more harm than good. Rather than pushing your body to its limit, train at a comfortable pace and gradually increase your speed and mileage over time.
After a long, grueling run, your body needs time to recover. Taking it easy now can prevent injuries later. If your muscles are feeling especially sore, treat them with ice, keep them elevated and use a foam roller to relieve tension. Of course, sleep is always a necessity. So, get to bed early to reenergize for tomorrow’s run.
Stretching and Strengthening
Stronger, more flexible muscles and joints have a greater range of motion, which means they are less likely to tear or snap during a run. Incorporating stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine can help to protect your body. After you have properly warmed up, focus on dynamic movements instead of static stretches that could increase pain. Stretching the muscles at the back of your leg will release the tension that builds up in your calves and hamstrings in addition to increasing the mobility of your knee.
The goal of strength training should be creating a stable base, especially in your core and hips. Try adding abdomen and hip strengthening exercises into your daily regimen. Cross training activities, such as swimming or cycling, can help build strength as well.
Safe running starts with your shoes. Training in shoes that are worn out or don’t fit properly can lead to injuries. When purchasing your running shoes, choose a pair that provides adequate support and fits comfortably. Make sure you are replacing your shoes every 400 miles, or whenever they begin to feel worn out.
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