With the many running benefits this sport provides, it certainly does not come without a price. A price you do not have to pay if you are careful enough to avoid the painful encounter of running injuries.
The usual running injuries encounter by athletes or ordinary runners are Achilles tendonitis, iliotibial band friction syndrome, runner’s knee, ankle sprain, plantar fasciitis, athlete’s foot, shin splints, bursitis, groin pull, stress fracture, and heel spurs. To avoid any of these, do not forget to stretch properly first before you run and stretch again afterwards. Practice utmost caution as you run. Run in a slower pace and as much as you can, tackle only the softer surfaces. This may sound irrelevant for some, but wearing the most appropriate running shoes is a tremendous help. In fact, you must make sure that you have on with you the most comfortable running shoes. And do not forget, never overexert yourself. You will not only be burdened with it but your muscles as well.
If you are just starting out or a beginner, do not run too far too soon. You can start at shorter distances or at shorter time, and you can gradually increase your mileage as days go on. While at it, it is important that you maintain apt running form. Again, as a beginner, try to initially avoid hard and difficult runs.
Majority of these running injuries actually happen as a result of over training. To eschew any unwanted occurrences, again avoid doing excessively too soon. Allow your body to get used to the routine. Speed and mileage must be increased in a gradual manner and not instantly. Take note that a sudden mileage increase is more likely to end up in an inevitable break down. Instead, mileage should be approximately increased for about 10 percent every week. And devote a day or two per week to rest your body and not engaged in any running activities. Give your body some time to recover and to strengthen itself.
As mentioned previously, wearing suitable running shoes is of great importance. But you have to bear in mind that your running shoes must also undergo regular replacements since its shock absorbing ability gradually diminish after some time of using them. Continuous use of running shoes without replacing them with a new pair every now and then may be inappropriate or inadequate to use beyond 350 up to 550 miles. You will not notice so much wear on the upper part of your shoe, but then, its shock absorption may be gone. For a 20-mile run every week, running shoes should be replaced every four to eight months basing on the shock absorption capabilities of your shoes. Anyway, it is cheaper to buy a new pair of running shoes than to pay a visit to the doctor or hospital for injury treatment or surgery.
The number one rule to avoid running injuries is stretching. Since runners usually develop or experience tightness in their muscle groups like the calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps and shin muscles, these areas must be stretched prior and following to the activity. The so-called wall stretch is one benevolent stretching exercise for the calf or the Achilles heel. It is done with one leg stepped backward with its knee straight, while the opposite leg is moved forward with its knee bent. The leg with straight knee is being stretched. This procedure is done repeatedly with each leg stretched alternatively for about 10 seconds each. For the hamstring exercise, there are several stretches that can be done such as leaning forward with legs straight out in front, raising one knee at a time towards the chest or bending forward with knees bent slightly. Just be mindful not to exasperate your back as you do hamstring stretches.
Be prepared the right way so you reap the benefits of running, while you enjoy every minute of it. Stick to what is necessary and proper and follow these tips so you can admiringly avoid running injuries.