No one anticipates injuries, and that’s why we always think it is an accident when it happens. However, the truth I some injuries can be avoided if you take the right precautions. Injuries can take a toll on you both physically and emotionally. Running involves all your major muscle groups such as glutes, hamstring, calf muscles, and joints. That is why running is one of the best ways to get fit. It also means you are risking injuries to your major muscle groups and joints. A muscle tear or joint injury can put you off the running tracks for months. In this article, we are going to look at the tips to prevent running injuries.
Get the right running gear
Experts say that running starts before you take your first step. Choosing the right running gear for you is very important. You have to be comfortable when running and your equipment plays a significant role to make sure that you give your optimum performance. You need to understand your physical features, such as feet type, and buy gear that compliments your needs. Shoes play an essential role and getting the right design and size is critical. When your feet have room in the shoes to move around, then you risk getting an injury. Common running injuries are runner’s knee, shin splint, sprained ankle, blisters, iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis. So, it is important to choose the best shoes for running that fit your feet needs.
It is also essential to consider your running clothing. The fabric has to be breathable and flexible. You need to feel comfortable in your skin. One thing that most people overlook, but it is imperative when it comes to preventing running injuries is the socks. Getting the correct ankle socks for you will avoid skin friction, foot swelling, and promote good foot health. It also protects areas on your feet that are susceptible to injuries such as big toes and ankles by providing proper cushioning. The benefits of acquiring the right gear for running to prevent running injuries are endless.
Always warm-up and cool down
Contrary to what people think, warm-up and cool-down are part of your running routine. Typically, warm-up and cool down takes about 5 to 10 minutes. But your warm-up can vary depending on the intensity of your running routine. The warm-up prepares your cardiovascular system and muscles. It dilates your blood vessel to allow efficient flow of oxygen and increase your blood flow. It increases the flexibility of your muscles, which goes a long way to prevent running injuries during your running routine. One fact that people overlook is you need to get psychologically prepped. Warm-up gets you in the mood for your running routine. You will get an injury quickly if you are running and you are thinking about your mortgage, home troubles, relationship, and other stuff.
Sudden muscle contraction and relaxation can be the cause of your injury. After an intense running session, you need your body to calm down gradually. It makes cool down an essential part of your course. It lowers your body temperature, reduces your heartbeat rate gradually, and gets your blood vessels back to normal. Lactic acid can accumulate in your muscles, which can lead to stiffness or cramping.
Listen to your body
No pain, no gain. But what if the pain is too much then you will not gain anything positive in the end. Our bodies have a way that they communicate with us. When your muscles are strained, you will know, and that is the time that you are susceptible to injury. It is better to reduce the intensity of your running routine or skip the routine until you feel fit to run again.
Professional athletes know how important it is to have rest days. During the free days, your muscles get time to regenerate and be ready for the next sessions. You also get to prepare for what awaits you ahead psychologically. Ice baths also help with muscle recovery if your running routine is intensive.