Every spring, once the weather gets warmer, runners hit the streets to get their bodies back in shape for summer. But hitting the pavement too quickly can be a mistake, leading to possible running injuries. Check out these tips to help you get back into your outdoor running routine safely and effectively while staying injury free.
- Decrease your distances if you trained on a treadmill over the winter. Treadmills have more “give” than pavement. This “give” helps your body to absorb the impact of each step a little better and removes some of the stress off of your leg muscles. Therefore, your body needs time to adapt to the impact and stress of running on pavement. If you’re used to running 5 miles on a treadmill, only run 2 miles on pavement to start. Gradually add more mileage as your body builds up bone, muscle and tendon strength so you can reduce running injuries.
- Include 2 to 3 days a week of strength training to your routine. Strength training can build core strength while strengthening the muscles and joints in your legs. Not only will strength training decrease your risk of injuries, it will also help you run faster. The best strength exercises for runners are squats, leg lifts, lunges, push-ups and planks.
Pay attention to joint mobility. Before you run, make sure you warm up your joints by doing some light jogging, lunges, leg swings and range of motion stretches to prevent running injuries. After your run, it’s important that you increase tissue tolerance and restore muscle pliability with mobility exercises that focus on myofascial release.
- Wear the right running shoes for your needs. You want shoes that place your feet in a neutral position that enables a neutral foot strike. If you overpronate (your feet roll inward) or oversupinate (your feet roll outward) during the gait cycle, the WalkEZStore recommends you wear custom orthotics like ezRunner® Performance Fit Orthotics in your running shoes. ezRunner® custom orthotics restore your feet back to a neutral position to help keep your body in proper alignment with better balance. Proper alignment reduces injuries while better balance equals better running. Remember, shoes wear down over time, so if you’re an active runner, replace your shoes every 500 miles.
- Give your body time to recover. Take a day off in between runs or alternate with other activities like biking, swimming, weight training or exercise machines. Your body needs time for your tissues to adapt and increase in function to reduce the risk of running injuries.
- Recognize the types of pains which may signal an overuse injury. You can prevent overuse injuries by recognizing these types of pain and modifying your running routine before you become injured.
Benevolent pain is a type of pain that may be present after your run, but it should disappear by the next day or be relieved by warm-up exercises.
Semi-harmful pain is pain that may be partially relieved during warm-up exercises, but is still present during activity. If you have semi-harmful pain, cut back on your running/exercise routine. If the pain lasts more than a week or is severe, see your doctor.
Harmful pain means you’re in trouble. Your running performance will be affected and light rest doesn’t relieve the pain. See your doctor. You will likely need a longer period of rest and additional treatment before you can continue running again.
By following these tips, you should avoid running injuries and enjoy a healthy running season.
For more information on ezRunner® Performance Fit Orthotics, visit the WalkEZStore.com. ezRunner® custom orthotics are ultra-thin and ¾ length, so they easily fit into any running shoe. Make your running even better by ordering your pair of ezRunner® Performance Fit Orthotics today.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.