What Can You Do to Prevent Running Injuries?

Posted December 13, 2019 by in Health + Fitness
man running

As the new year draws closer, you probably have some goals and resolutions on your mind. For example, you might be eager to get into the rhythm with a new workout regime. You might be all set to get your new running shoes and gear and chase after a new you in 2020. 

Not so fast, however! If you don’t properly prepare for and think about your runs, you can end up hurting yourself. Injuries sustained from running are more common than you might initially assume.

What can you do to prevent running injuries? There are steps you can take to prevent these things and protect yourself. Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know:

man running

Common Running Injuries

One of the best ways to avoid getting hurt while running is just being aware of the potential problems you might face. The knowledge of common running injuries can help to better recognize when something is actually wrong, as opposed to normal pains or aches that might come from physical activity.

Runner’s knee is one such issue. It is a term that is used to describe when a person’s knee becomes out of alignment. When this happens, the cartilage in your knee can get worn down. You might feel this pain, especially when working out your knee, like by going upstairs or squatting down. 

Pain in your knee that doesn’t go away might be indicative of a problem you need to look into.

Shin splints and stress fractures are also common injuries that impact many runners. These are sharp pains in the legs that arise for different reasons. Both often come from working your body too hard or switching abruptly from one form of exercise to another.

There can be small breaks in your bones that are often quite painful. Rest if you feel this type of pain is important because further activity could worsen the condition. Most breaks can heal on their own with proper rest, as they are very small fractures.

It’s also easy to pull or strain muscles as you go through your workout. This can be painful as well, and the rest is just as important to recovery. Continuing to stress your body out will only make things worse. 

Listen To Your Body

When it comes to avoiding running injuries, the most important thing you can do is read about the injuries above and look out for them. If you’re feeling pain while running, it is not something that you should ignore. Too often runners decide they can ‘push through’ the pain, only to make what could’ve been an easily fixed situation much worse.

A little soreness, of course, is perfectly fine. But consistent pain in the legs that doesn’t go away can be a serious issue. You might need to see a doctor. Don’t ignore it! 

Other Ways To Avoid Running Injury

Listening to your body is key to staying healthy. That is the truth. But there are other steps you can take to ensure you don’t injure yourself as well.

Wear Proper Attire

People buy running shoes and running wardrobe for more reasons than to just look stylistic. The material in the clothes you wear is important. If you want to prevent running blisters, it’s important to wear shoes that won’t hurt your skin while you run.

The same can be said for the clothing you wear while running: your clothing should be comfortable, lightweight, and nonabrasive to the skin. Consider knee compression sleeve reviews and pick up a copper knee sleeve for added support.

Create A Proper Running Plan

Avoiding injury can often be as simple as recognizing your limits and keeping to them. You want to push yourself, of course, but not so far that you hurt yourself. That can be a fine line. Talking a trainer might be the best way to come up with a plan that will balance those two ends of the spectrum.

If you have a running plan mapped out before you go, it should eliminate doubt or risk. Your plan will be in line with your current fitness capabilities, and as long as you stick with the plan, you shouldn’t run a risk of hurting yourself.

Stretch, Stretch, Stretch

A lot of runners make the mistake of not stretching and warming up before a run. Injuries often result that could have easily been avoided by proper stretching. 

Your calf, hamstrings, and other joints in your leg all are especially susceptible to injury if you don’t take the time to stretch and get comfortable. All it takes is five minutes of walking and stretching to proof your body for a run. Don’t risk it by skipping this essential step!

You should also consider incorporating yoga into your weekly exercise routine. Yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles on the days you’re not running. In fact, many yoga studios have special yoga classes for runners. If going to a studio doesn’t fit into your schedule, there are numerous YouTube videos out there with runners in mind. Just search yoga for runners, and you should find hundreds of options. Just find a Youtuber you like and dedicate 10 minutes a day to it. 

Alternate Your Work Out

If you do the same thing over and over and over to your body, you might create some wear and tear that can be harmful. Switching up your routine sometimes can help to avoid this from happening. 

Consider doing a different form of a workout sometimes, like swimming or biking. It doesn’t have to be all running all the time. This variation can be good for you and can even increase your skills in other areas.

What can you do to prevent running injuries? There’s a lot you can do, actually, and if you read the information above you’ll be well on your way to a safer run. Running should be about strengthening your body, not harming it, so make sure you’re being safe.

Need more fitness advice? Check out our fitness section for more.