Runners Injury Prevention Guide
Steady build-up of Mileage
You feel good and your feet are itching to hit the road. On Sunday morning you wake up early and get ready to run a long distance. You run until feeling some tiredness kick-in and decide to turn back home. Barely making it to the front door, you collapse on the sofa. The next day everything hurts and you still feel exhausted.
Running without a proper schedule or training plan is a sure road to injury. A clever runner slowly builds-up his or her weekly mileage and long-runs. It is preached by professional runners and coaches that one should increase weekly and long-distance runs by about 10 percent. This is not only to prevent a burn-out but especially to prevent running injuries. This means that when you ran a total of 12 miles last week, this week your total weekly mileage should be no more than (12 + 10% ) 13.2 miles. For more information about our method read about the ten percent rule.
Don't be a slave to your training program. If your legs tell you to rest, listening to them can bring more good than bad.
A warm-up routine is practiced by virtually all sports and should be performed every time you go out running. Even before a short recovery-run or an easy-run day, the warming-up might even be more important than the main running part. A properly performed warm-up with dynamic stretching might be more helpful in recovery than a few slow miles of running. Read more about runners warm-up.
A cool-down helps to bring the body back to the state in came from at the beginning. Re-aligning muscle fibers and tendons as well as flushing out lactic acid build-up in the muscles during the run. Read about all the benefits of a runner's cool-down.
A biomechanical abnormality could lead to injuries even though you followed all the rules of injury prevention I.E., warm-up, cool-down, and stretching. If your feet are over pronating or you lean too much forward while running, this could lead to a series of injuries. Check out advise on correct running form. For any serious runner it is wise to have your running form checked by a professional. Correct running form will reduce running injuries even when you are taking on a hard training schedule to prepare for your next marathon race.
Don't Ignore the Signals
Very often our body is sending out little signals about its condition. When you start receiving signals which you haven't noticed before, they might need some more consideration. Some injuries come suddenly and some come with small increments which could be ignored in their first stages. Your best bet is to investigate every unusual sensation before it becomes a fully grown injury. Injury prevention is about noticing and becoming aware of new sensations. Once you notice an uncomfortable sensation you have to go back and search the time-line where things could have gone wrong. Ask yourself if you took all measures to prevent an injury in the first place. Did you cool-down properly? Did your training run or race go through stone paths or steep hills which could have caused increased stress on the muscles? How was your warm-up? Did you eat and drink well? Were there any previous indications? Most injuries can be traced back with these questions preventing them from becoming more serious.
Marathon Runners Injury Prevention Slogan
"The greatest challenge for a marathon runner is not finish the race but making it to the starting line without injuries, healthy and rested".