No matter what you may expect of yourself… how much you want to lose weight, train for that first (or next) race, or anything else, there is always a risk of injury. Trust me, I started running when I was ten years old, and no matter what I tried to do, I always had to take the advice of coaches, trainers, and doctors about what I would do if I over-did it out on the road.
Most importantly, if you are just starting to run, it is important to schedule some rest days into your week. Typically, as you are just starting you may only want about three or four days a week out on the concrete or blacktop when it comes to training. It can be very hard on your bones, joints, muscles, and everything all throughout your legs as you pound it out. So… with all of this, there are some key items to making sure that you are able to avoid injuries (or at least serious injuries in excess of sore muscles).
Take a look at some of the most common things to do to help prevent common running injuries:
- Stretch, stretch, stretch! This will help prevent the simplest of all injuries: sore muscles. It will also help keep your joints mobile.
- IF YOU ARE SORE OR IN PAIN… be sure to take the day off. You can always do another exercise if you had planned a workout day, something like yoga that may be helpful for both flexibility and toning, or even ride a bike to get some exercise while not pounding the pavement.
- DO NOT OVERUSE… no matter how much you have ever run in the past, there is always the possibility of overuse if you start running too much all at once, or if you thrust your training levels up too quickly.
- Be sure to keep at least one day off a week to allow your body some rest time. It’s a good time to sit on the floor and stretch out your entire body while you are watching TV.
- If you start to feel slight soreness or aching in certain areas around your joints, muscles, shins, or other areas, be sure to take inflammatory pills and tape them if you are still running (this could be knees, shins, ankles, foot arches, and much more). This can help prevent additional swelling.
Remember that there are plenty of other options that can help keep your legs, feet, and entire body comfortable while you are running. Some things like proper-fitting running shoes, compression socks, and others can help… especially if you are training on long distances and out on the pavement. We will continue to take a look at some more options to help prevent and treat many different aches, pains, and injuries that may result from running on a regular basis.