The more you run, the more you’ll (hopefully!) enjoy it, this is a good thing, but the enjoyment can lead to some people running more than they should do and potentially an injury which can stop you in your tracks, particularly annoying if you’re hoping to enter a race or are really keen to get into shape.
So here are my 5 tips to help avoid injury
- Run then recover. It’s an interesting thought but the vast majority of runners want to keep running day after day. Your body however needs time to recover (yep, even yours!) this is the key time to see improvements. Going for your run is the ground work, but the improvement occurs when you rest, this is the time when your body – assuming you let it – rebuilds itself from all the good food you put in (see next tip) and you become even fitter
- Eat right. There are so many places to get great nutrition advice out there in books and online it’s almost crazy to mention this point, but it’s still important enough to keep in mind. This isn’t just about what you eat either, but when. Thinking about our bodys demands, if we’re exercising regularly then we should feed regularly. Sure, have your normal meals, but consider eating smaller healthy snacks during the day too, around every 3 hours
- Stretch! Come on, be honest, do you give this one the attention it deserves? Everyone talks about the importance of it but how many of us actually get out there and properly warm up and cool down? The type of stretching, well that’s for another post but since I’ve started to stretch, from the beginning of 2015, I feel like it’s made a difference to me. It gets your body ready for the activity to come and cools you down, bringing your muscle fibers back to their correct position post exercise
- Get a plan and don’t stick to it. A training plan is really important, I can’t tell you otherwise, it’s benefits are many. But, listen to your body, if it tells you something then listening and acting on that will reduce injury risk, if you just feel tired all day and you know you’ve been blitzing the training, then rest for a day, or two, however long until you feel better. The problems associated with over training are many, and they won’t do you any favours. If you don’t yet have a running coach give serious thought to getting one, a good coach will help you achieve consistent results, offer you analysis and keep themselves, and you, constantly up to date with the latest knowledge – contact me at www.facebook.com/focusedperformance to see how I can help with a bespoke coaching package for £28 per month.
- If you feel it, it may come. If you feel as though something is wrong, commit some time to check it out, don’t let a nagging suspicion or pain go unattended. Have some days off and see what happens – if in doubt get it checked out, I can’t tell you the wonders my sports therapist has done for me, she is legend @cmdactivetherapies and I recommend you have a good sports therapist on call too
- Finally, a BONUS point…read my Amazon top 10 ebook The Runners Guide to Injury Free Running – it contains even more advice on how to stay injury free and if you read the reviews on Amazon you’ll see the advice within it makes a difference. You can get your copy for free by subscribing with your email address on this page, pop it in the bar at the top.
Have you any tips or strategies for reducing injury risk? What has worked well? Let me know in the comments section below