I belong to several on-line running communities, and one thing that comes up in our chats quite often is injuries. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I think all runners have encountered an injury (or two). Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I know that I’ve definitely had my share:
- stress fractures (yes plural – I’ve broken BOTH legs from running)
- IT band friction syndrome
- patella femoral pain syndrome
- achilles tendonitis
- pes anserine bursitis
- jumper’s knee
- and most recently plantar fasciitis.
Oh how I hate getting injured, don’t you?
Being injured is so hard to handle – I get angry with the world when I WANT to run but CAN’T. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The thing with injuries is that each and every one makes us smarter – they teach us things about our bodies, and if we’re paying attention, most of our injuries won’t be repeated.
Because most of my injuries could have been prevented, I thought I’d share with you 5 of Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â my personal tips for running injury free:
- Get fitted for shoes that match your running gait. Go toÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â a store that specializes in running and that has knowledgeable staff. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The most expensive running shoes are not necessarily the best running shoes for YOU. As well, the shoes that your running partner wears and runs injury-free in may not be the best for you either. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Go to a store that will let you try the shoes out for a little spin up and down the sidewalk outside in front of the store. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I’d mention store names, but I’m Canadian and have no idea what stores do that in the US. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Here in Canada Running Room is a good resource (and I believe there are now a few Running Room locations in the US). Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Would anyone care to share some store names in the comments of places that allow you to run outside in the shoes?
- Follow a training plan that builds your distance slowly and cuts back every 3-4 weeks to allow your body to recover. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Most injuries are a result of too much too soon – either too much distance or too much speed too soon. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â When you run too far, or too fast your biomechanics change – this changes the angle of your foot strike etc and transfers more shock through your body (ie: shin splints).
- Pay attention when you run to your gait. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If you’re starting to compensate, then cut your run short. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Continuing to run with bad form because your training plan said to run 20 miles is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for injury.
- Pay attention to your own personal over-training signs. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Difficulty sleeping, restlessness, illness, fatigue – those are all signs of over-training. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â If you experience any of those things, perhaps a rest day or an easier day is what your body needs.
- Don’t run through pain. If something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t right.
I hope you all can learn from my mistakes – here’s to running injury-free!
What have you learned from your injuries? Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â What training tips can you share to keep me from injuring myself (yet again)?
(PS – I told my hubby I wrote a post about preventing injuries and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him laugh so hard – he said to tell you all that he’s never met anyone who tries harder to hurt themselves than me).
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