Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Long Run: Tips to Prevent Injuries

Hey y'all! I have a special treat for you on this Workout Wednesday. I have Shannon Lochwood here to talk about how to prevent injuries during training season! I know that half marathon season is in full force and you're probably close to race day, but sooner than you think, fall training will be here! Now take it away Shannon...

People that love to run tend to train pretty hard, and some even verge on overdoing it. While regular, high-intensity training can help you reach your running goals and get you in great shape, it can also lead to a variety of different injuries.

If you love running or rely on it as exercise to stay in shape, chances are you aren’t going to stop, and you don’t need to. You do need to be careful with your body, however, and make sure you do as much as you can to prevent injuries that can hobble your running schedule and your body.




Always Stretch

Every athlete in the world knows the importance of stretching; however, it’s pretty easy to get in the habit of skipping your stretching routine, especially if you’re in a hurry to get your workout going.

Ideally, you want to reserve about 10 minutes before you go running to stretch. Stretch your whole body and do running-specific stretches like high-knee drills and bounding arm circles. If you’ve had any recent injuries, taking a few minutes to make sure that area is loose and warm is important as well.

You should also take a few minutes to stretch after you’re done running to prevent muscle soreness. This is particularly important if you run every day because muscle soreness can cause you to alter your gait the next day, which could result in an injury.

Add Strength Training to Your Routine

Many runners don’t think about strength training, but it can have some vital benefits. Strength training regularly improves overall athletic ability and physical power in your running, but it also strengthens muscles, helping them to fight off strain-related injuries.

For runners, body-weight strength training exercises are ideal, and heavy lifting really isn’t beneficial. If you’re going to lift weights or use machines, choose lower weights for more repetitions instead of heavy weights for fewer repetitions.

Heavy weight will increase bulk, which won’t make you a more efficient runner. 




Take Rest Days

As much as training the right way is important, taking rest days to allow your body to relax is essential. When you just start out, taking a day off after a workout is ideal.

As you progress or if you’re already an experienced runner, taking two rest days off per week is beneficial for some. If you’re training for a marathon or other goal, taking only one rest day per week is fine, but you need to be careful when it comes to listening to your body and any growing injuries.

On your rest days, try doing something beneficial for your body like getting a massage. You can either look into working with a massage therapist or practice self-massage to help ease sore muscles and relax after a workout. You can use massage lotions or ointments during your massage to help further repair any aching muscles or even treat blisters.

In addition to stretching, strength training and taking rest days and getting a massage, it’s also essential that you eat right and drink plenty of water when you’re training. It is also very important that you take the necessary daily vitamins to keep performing at your best.

Doing all of these things together can help you reach your training goals and keep yourself free from injuries in the process.


Shannon Lochwood is a health enthusiast and writer living in California! She enjoys writing about personal fitness, nutrition and supplements. Her passion is to encourage other to make their health their #1 priority. Shannon really hopes you enjoy this article!


There you have it! Make sure you really have a think about these tips and don't overtrain. Those of you quickly approaching your goal races, hang in there, stay strong, taper well and kick but in your race!

Working out is all about finding a happy balance in your life. Too much can be just as bad as too little! Find a way to even it out and find your happy place. After all, life really is just a balancing act!

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