How to avoid injuries while running?

By Shaunak Naik

Believe it or not… most running injuries are preventable! This article will help you understand, treat, and prevent running injuries by incorporating three simple habits.

That way, there’s nothing holding you back from your long-term running goals!

Check out these three habits that will help prevent running injuries for good. Incorporate these into your routine ASAP … your body will thank you!

Habit 1: Stop & Warm Up

 

Warming up prepares our body to run more correctly and more efficiently. Running requires a large range of motion, and injuries often occur when we surprise our bodies with that range.

A warm-up fixes that by gradually introducing a large range of motion to your body.

A quick and easy warm-up: leg swings and lunges. To start, stand on one leg. If you need to hang onto something, feel free.

However, try to work up to standing freely on one leg, as that helps to improve ankle stability.

Gradually make your swings a little bit bigger. After you’ve completed about 10 swings, kick your leg back into a lunge with your hands on the ground. Once there, start to make some hip circles around your front leg.

Repeat that on the other leg and you’re already better off on your run!

 

Habit 2: Run With Purpose

 

Arguably the most common theme across acute running injuries (as opposed to chronic injuries) is that we’re not paying attention when they happen. To combat this, get in the habit of running with a purpose.

If you’re following a running programme, it will likely tell you what to focus on during a run. One day might be speed, the next endurance, or maybe hills, pace, etc.

If you’re not on a running plan, or if you just want a different idea, focusing on your breath is a great way to bring purpose to your run.

To do this, try this nose-breathing drill: every 5-10 minutes in your run, try breathing only through your nose for 1 minute.

This belly breathing will release tension and stiffness that may have formed during your run.

No matter what your focus is, running with purpose draws awareness to what we’re actually doing out on a run.

And the more aware we are on a run, the better able we are to prevent injuries before they happen.

 

Habit 3: 10 Minutes of Mobility A Day

 

Our bodies are machines, and machines require maintenance. If we neglect what’s going on “under the hood” for too long, things start to wear down and eventually they snap.

We’ll be running one day and that hamstring pull feels like it comes out of nowhere.

The reality is this: running injuries do not just come out of nowhere.

Rather, they brew under the surface for a while, and we only feel them when they get so bad they come to the surface.

To combat this, take ten minutes a day to check in with your body and get real with what’s going on.

This way, you can run more intelligently the next time around and prevent that sharp pain that was heading to the surface.

An easy way to do this is to sit at the bottom of a squat position for a few minutes. This is a relatively extreme position in terms of the range of motion, so it’s asking a lot of your hips, ankles, and knees.

Sitting in this position for a few minutes will really open up those areas. If it’s hard to keep your toes pointed forward in your squat, your ankles might need some more mobility work on their own.

Using a foam roller on your calves during your mobility every day will help to loosen your ankles.

Take note of which parts of your body are affected most by this position. This will indicate which areas need more attention (stretching, massage, etc.).

 

And there you have it! Incorporating these three habits into your training routine will help bring awareness to your body and your stride. This will help avoid careless injuries, overuse injuries, and everything in between.

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