Whether you’re training for long distance races, or running shorter distances daily, taking care of your body and making sure you have the proper gear will lower your risk of getting injured.
- Rest day- Make sure you include at least one weekly rest day to allow your system and muscles to recover.
- Recovery- Include some weekly cross training sessions, whether it’s cycling, swimming or interval training to engage different muscles and also include some core training sessions and exercises
- Training in different planes of motion- In our daily life we always move in sagittal plane, include some exercises that involve moving in different planes of motion; side and reverse lunges, running backwards or sideways, side shuffles, carioca, jumping side to side or side step ups. Moving backwards or sideways engages our muscles differently which increases our stability, balance and coordination, which will improve our running performance.
- Stretching: Including stretching and foam rolling sessions in your training program will increase flexibility and lower the risk of injuries.
- Sleep- Our body, neurological system and muscles recover while we sleep. Getting at least 7-8hrs of sleep/night will ensure proper recovery, and muscle repair.
- Hydration- Drinking enough water and electrolytes, especially in summertime, will prevent dehydration in order to avoid heat-related illnesses. Fluids are essential for muscle functioning and joint cushioning. Not taking enough fluid and electrolytes while running or training will not only impair our performance level, energy, stamina, but also have some negative effects on major organs. Not drinking enough fluid also causes damage to the working muscles.
- Carbohydrate intake- Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates will supply the body with enough energy, and prevent using protein in the muscles when our glycogen system is low.
- Eat iron rich-foods- Iron plays an essential role in carrying oxygen to muscles. Having low levels of iron, which is common in long distance runners, can hurt our muscles’ ability to recover, affect our energy levels and making it difficult to breathe when running.
- Omega 3’s- Eating foods rich in Omega 3’s will help with muscle repair and recovery.
- Post training nutrition– Eating or drinking a combination of carbs and protein 4:1 for running, within 30-60mins post training will provide our body with the proper recovery foods for muscle repair and replenishing our glycogen levels.
- Wearing the right shoes- Over-pronators need shoes with some support, long distance runners might benefit from some cushioning. Finding the right shoes for our foot stance will help to prevent injuries.
- Buy a second or third pair of shoes- You can lower your risk of injury by rotating between two or more shoes. Changing running shoes alters your running pattern and varies impact on the legs. Wear more supportive and cushioned shoes for long runs and lighter, more flexible shoes for speedwork.
- Flip Flops- Spending the summer in flip flops might increase the risk of injuries. For people that are prone to Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis, wearing flip flops regularly might cause some serious damage to the feet. Flip flops offer no arch support and having to clench your toes to hold your foot in place can cause Achilles tendinitis. Having to raise your heel repeatedly can alter your gait when you walk and also when you run. Wearing shoes with support and cushioning for our daily life will also make a difference in preventing injuries.
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!