10 Tips for Running Injury Prevention

by May 4, 2018Exercises, Health and Wellness, Injuries

How do I prevent injuries when running?

Now that running season has started again, here are some tips to help prevent overuse injuries running from our physiotherapists. If you have pain currently while running or are managing an injury, come on in to see us, we would love to help. 

Tip #1 – Increase Running Distance Slowly

The majority of running injuries are caused by increasing intensity and duration of running too quickly. As a rule of thumb, increase your running speed and distance slowly. If you are training for a long distance event such as a marathon or half marathon, it is important to have a clear running plan to slowly increase your running distance each week. 

Tip #2 – Check Your Shoes

It is important to invest in good quality running shoes that fit properly. We recommend going to a running shoe store to get properly fitted by a specialist. LadySport is a local footwear store in Kitsilano.

Tip #3 – Do a Proper Warm Up

Make sure to include a 5-10 minute warmup before your run which includes some dynamic stretching. Need some good ideas? Try 20 repetitions of the following exercises before you head out for your next run. 

  • Leg Swings ( Forward or Side to Side)

  • Walking Lunges with a Twist

  • Calf raises

  • Arm circles

  • Alternating Knee to Chest – 10 per side 

Tip #4 – Stretch Often

It is important to incorporate a stretching routine after each of your runs. Stretch each major muscle group, remember to hold each stretch for 30 sec – 1 min. Runner’s should pay special attention to your IT Band, Hip Flexors, and Gluteus muscles.

Tip #5 – Get a Check Up

Addressing past injuries, or any current pain you might have while running is important before increasing your running distance. An appointment with a physiotherapist prior to making any significant changes to your running routine is always a good idea. Managing pain and injuries, prior to increasing your running volume, no matter how small the injury will help make sure that your pain does not increase or worsen the injury. 

Tip #6 – Don’t “Push Through the Pain”

There is a big difference between good pain (from tired muscles) and bad pain (leading to an injury). If you are feeling joint pain or any sharp, shooting pain, numbness or tingling, come on in to see a physiotherapist sooner rather than later. The later you wait, the longer the recovery will be.

Tip #7 – Increase Your Weekly Running Mileage by No More Than 10% Per Week

The cardiovascular system adjusts faster to an increase in running distance before the joints do. As mentioned before, most running injuries occur from increasing volume or running intensity too quickly. 

Tip #8 – Strength Training is Still Important

Strength training to build a strong core, and hip muscles is still important for runners. Make sure to focus on exercises for pelvic stability and single leg exercises. Don’t know where to start? We can help you make a program. Balanced strength in muscles between the left and right limb is particularly important in helping achieve proper running form.

Tip #9 – Avoid Too Much Downhill Running

Running downhill places more pressure on the knees, if you have a history of knee injuries, try to avoid running routes with less downhill sections.

Tip #10 – Know the Warning Signs of Overtraining

Here are some basic signs of overtraining that you should watch out for; decreased motivation to train, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, excessive fatigue, muscles are more sore than usual, higher resting heart rate. If you are experiencing these symptoms it might be time to decrease your training load.

Banner/Thumbnail Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash