I began my running journey about three years ago. I was very hesitant at first because I have never been very interested in any type of sports or exercise. A life changing event occurred for me after my father suffered 3 strokes over a two day period and was shortly thereafter diagnosed with colon cancer. I knew that my daily life choices had to change and exercise was one of them. Running has become a staple part of my life, I look forward to my runs and receiving my “Bling” (medals)! However, running especially in marathons requires training, training, and more training, in order to reduce runner Injuries. I will list my important FIVE must DO’s – keep in mind that what works for me may be different for others.
To Reduce Runner Injuries
1. Always Begin with a Warm-Up Stretch
I feel this is most important because you want to get your body warmed up and alert for the run. You want to avoid catching a cramp mid run or even after because you did not ease your body into the run. Many Runner Injuries occur due to cramping and a good stretch and warm-up will help to avoid this.
2. Keep Hydrated
Drink plenty of water! This is a must do everyday, try and stay away from soda, juices, and alcoholic beverages especially if you are in training. Cramping and Runner Injuries is also caused by dehydration. Drinking enough water daily will keep you refreshed and hydrated for your long or short runs.
One of the things I must admit I still struggle with even today. Some people may think this is easy but you must learn different breathing techniques. Running short or long distances, running in the summer, fall, winter or spring will require you to adapt your breathing.
You are your own competition. Don’t pace yourself based on who is running beside you if you are running in a group setting. Another mistake that can cause Runners Injuries is pushing yourself beyond your bodies limit. Your pace will be different from others and that is okay. I have always told myself it’s not how fast I finish it’s that I have completed a goal I set my mind to do.
Most importantly is knowing your body and when to REST. Everyone needs to rest their bodies no matter if you are just beginning or have been running for years professionally. When I train for an upcoming marathon I will always have at least 2 rest days within the week. Some people can manage with 1 rest day and that works for them. Runners Injuries are prone if your body is overworked and no rest in between.
Hopefully, the above five must-do’s may be helpful to you if you are just starting out or are an avid runner. Remember we run for fun, to relax, destress, and enjoy life.