Getting hurt is every runner’s nightmare and this can only mean one thing which is having to stop for a while, depending on the extent to which one is hurt to nurse the injury. Some common injuries among most runners today include muscle strain, chaffing, stress fracture, shin splints, and runner’s knee.
You are probably asking yourself why you always get hurt during your daily run or training. Well, it could be because you are not following these ten amazing tips to prevent running injuries today. These running safety tips are very crucial and could mean the difference between having a safe running session without any injuries or getting injured.
1. Listen Yo Your Body
Most injuries happen when the body has undergone a lot of physical stress; therefore it is very important to understand how differently your body works. Listen when your body is sending you feelings of exhaustion, soreness or even pain. Just step back whenever you feel overwhelmed. Never ignore any pain, even the faintest of them all. This will prevent further damages that may, in turn, lead to severe injuries.
When it comes to running, different bodies handle speed and mileage differently. It is, therefore, important that you understand your body enough to figure out when it is the right time to stop and allow your body to recover.
2. Stay Hydrated
Keeping yourself properly hydrated and remaining the same increases the chances of you enduring long runs, especially for the professional athletes. It also reduces the chances of chafing during those long runs. The volume of water to drink should be guided by how long the run is and how much you sweat.
Have water an hour or two before the kick-off, after every 15-20 minutes when running and also after every run to stabilize the level of body fluids lost when sweating. You can even keep a timer if possible. Having such a routine will greatly impact your performance positively hence eradicating any occurrences of running injuries.
However, if not careful, you may risk getting over dehydrated. So don’t drink too much water in a short period of time. This can also cause gastrointestinal distress, which is definitely not good for any runner.
3. Create A Running Plan
Some injuries like muscle strain occur mainly when one is not consistent with their running schedule. In creating a running plan, know the time or day that best works for you based on your personal habits and goals for running.
Stick to your timing in order to let your body adapt to that irrespective of the time or even day. Having specific routines keeps you motivated and prevents any chances of unnecessary exhaustion which can cause injuries in the end.
4. Warm Up and Stretch Before and After All Runs
This is a very important tip to prevent running injuries today. It prepares all body muscles for what is ahead in the workout, thereby improving one’s flexibility. There are quite a number of light pre-run warm-up exercises that you can consider like jogging or even walking. Whatever warm up you go for, just make sure that it is not rushed.
Stretching before a daily run prevents any forms of injuries that revolve around soreness because it is the same as what you’ll be doing during the workout. It also helps in making the recovery process after a workout quite fast. However, note that a proper stretch should be done after a warm-up, or after completing a run and all the joints should be incorporated for at least 30 seconds.
5. Monitor The Weather
The weather not only dictates your productivity but also the type of clothes to wear. Exposing the body to extreme weather conditions affects one’s health. Therefore, avoid running when it’s either too hot or too cold. It is generally perceived that early mornings or late evenings are the appropriate times for a run due to their relatively friendly conditions.
However, different days may come with different weather conditions even as the seasons change. So it is also important for a regular runner to know how to cope with different conditions, instead of cancelling the workout due to bad weather.
6. Start Slowly
Running, just like any other workout requires patience and consistency. Rushing a routine makes you susceptible to injuries like shin splints. Your improvement in terms of intensity, frequency, and hours spent during a run should be gradual and not rushed.
A beginner has to steadily balance workout, cross-training and healthy breaks. This gives the body muscles time to improve in capacity and flexibility, reducing the chances of being overwhelmed.
Rushing not only increases chances of injuries, but also increases the probability of one giving up due to over expectations.
7. Dress Appropriately
Always wear something that keeps you comfortable. The first rule, in regards to dressing, is that you should avoid any attire made from 100% cotton, especially when it is slightly hot. This is because whenever you sweat, your cotton attire will stay wet longer hence making your skin prone to chafing.
To have a comfortable run, your attire should be made of nylon, whether the shorts, tights or even vests. The sweat-wicking nature of nylon ensures that the moisture gathered from sweat doesn’t stay longer on the fabric hence reducing any chances of chaffing.
Your dressing should also depend on what the weather looks like and how long your run lasts. Therefore, remember to keep your hands and head warm and safe whenever it is extremely cold, and always have your hat on during sunny days to prevent sunburns.
8. Be Smart on Your Footwear
Know and understand your feet to get yourself the right type of shoes, depending on your preferred style of running as well. The size of running shoes should be as comfortable as possible; neither too small nor too big.
Once you have figured out the right shoes for your feet, stick by them. In addition to that, periodically replace your running shoes whenever the soles are worn out to reduce chances of slipping or falling.
Wearing the wrong socks too causes a lot of friction on your feet, which causes blisters. It is, therefore, advised to avoid extremely light socks at all costs. As I mentioned earlier, keep off cotton socks as well. To be on the safer side, visit any sports house for the ideal running socks. These are designed in a special way to ensure that your feet remain warm and dry.
Cross-training is necessary in order to boost your fitness levels, improving your running in the end. This is key, especially when you are a beginner. Getting involved with other forms of workout exercises such as swimming builds body stamina and at the same time minimizes any risks of injury.
10. Always Look Ahead
The common mistake many beginners make is not concentrating on what lays ahead. Your head should face forward, and as suggested by many coaches, always look ahead of you about 10 to 20 feet.When running, you should stay alert and let your vision guide you. This will not only prevent you from slipping or tumbling, but also from accidents caused by running into oncoming objects or even people.
All runners have to take precautions for a healthy and active workout and training experience. So the next time you are out for your morning or evening run, remember these 10 important tips to prevent running injuries today. Be smart, and don’t let injuries ruin your workout.