Avoiding Running Injuries

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The best way of avoiding running injuries is simpler than you think.

Runners are a stubborn bunch when it comes to  running injuries. We've all felt that odd twinge or that little niggly pain that comes and goes but, we often choose to ignore it and hope that it will go away on its own. Sometimes it does but often it doesn't and boom before you know it, you are sitting at home injured and frustrated.

The shocking thing though is that most common running injuries are in fact self-inflicted. That is to say that most of the time you  could have prevented them yourself. We have the control to slow down, to stop or to take a rest but often we don't listen to our body and we carry on.

Running is not like a contact sport where you might get hit in the head by a bat or ball or have someone elbow you in the ribs or fall off your bike. With running, it is just you, your body and the ground and you are in control.

Staying injury free is often in a runners thoughts but often they don't understand what steps to take or feel they don't have the time to do anything about it and so they just hope for the best.

If that sounds like you, then these simple injury prevention golden rules are for you.

Avoiding Running Injuries is easy if you follow these golden rules

These rules apply to runners of all ages and all levels. They are not complicated and although  simple, they are very effective for avoiding running injuries.

  • Eat well and you'll run well. Your diet will effect how well your body performs and how quickly it recovers from exercise. How to fuel and hydrate your run.
  • Keep strong. As we get older our muscle strength declines so strength exercises are very important. Less muscle strength leads to quicker fatigue and then our body posture crumbles and we are setting ourselves up for an injury.
  • Warm ups and cool downs are very important. A proper warm up of at least 15 minutes will get the blood flowing to your muscles, tendons and ligaments . If you start running from cold your muscles, tendons and ligaments are not pumped with blood and nice and supple so they get a bit of a shock. This means they are stressed and more likely to react in a negative way. Similarly at the end of your run, you want to gradually cool down for about 15 minutes so that the blood can do the reverse.
  • Check your running posture. We all have a slightly different posture and usually that is not a problem. However if your body is imbalanced such as misaligned hips, that can lead to stress on your body which in turn leads to an injury. 
  • Take it easy. Easy runs should form the bulk of your running or at least 80% of your runs.
  • Ice if necessary. If you get home and feel a bit sore somewhere, consider icing. Here's why and how to ice properly.
  • Take rest days. Rest days are in fact part of your training. They are not just days in between training where your body is being idle but are days where your body is recovering and reaping the benefits of the previous days training. This means that  when you next go for a run, your body is stronger.
  • If in doubt, take a day off.

These rules are not complicated and everyone can do them and they'll certainly help yo avoid the most common running injuries.

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