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November 15, 2023 3 min read

Injury Prevention for Runners - it is possible!!

As a runner who has experienced personal injury, I can attest to the importance of injury prevention strategies. After suffering from a running-related injury through overtraining and mis management of my symptoms that resulted in surgery, I realized that the road to recovery can be long and frustrating. However, it can also be prevented by taking certain steps. Implementing injury prevention strategies is the best way to avoid the setback and agony of an injury.

We know as runners; it is important to recognize that the sport comes with its own set of challenges and risks. High-impact activity such as running puts stress on our bones, joints, and muscles, which can increase the likelihood of injury. However, with the right strategies in place, you can reduce the risk of injury and continue what you love safely.

Whether it is through strength training, proper warm-ups, cross-training, or listening to your body, there are several ways to reduce your risk of injury. Incorporating injury prevention activities into your routine not only keeps you safe, but also improves your overall fitness and helps you become a better runner.

From experience I want to share some tips that I learned through my struggle and rehabilitation.  

Here are some injury prevention tips for runners:

  • Warm-up before running: Always start your runs with a proper warm-up to prepare your body for physical activity. A good warm-up should include dynamic stretching exercises that target the major muscle groups used in running.
  • Invest in proper footwear:Running shoes are your most important piece of equipment when it comes to injury prevention. Choose shoes that fit well and offer proper support for your feet and arches.
  • Increase mileage gradually:Don't increase your mileage too quickly. Increase your mileage gradually to give your body time to adjust and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Strength train:Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to improve your overall fitness and reduce your risk of injury. Strength training exercises can help strengthen your muscles, improve your balance, and prevent common running injuries. For me I worked hard with core training to ensure my glutes were stronger and my lower back didn’t experience pain through running.
  • Cross-training: Cross-training activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga can help improve your overall fitness and reduce your risk of injury by giving your body a break from the repetitive motion of running. I know, I know there is nothing like the runners high but adding one day a week to cross train can make all the difference to your performance and to stay injury free!
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any signs of pain or discomfort. If you feel pain during or after a run, take a break and rest until the pain subsides.
  • Cool down after running: After you finish your run, take time to cool down with some light stretching exercises to help your body recover.

In conclusion, as a runner who has experienced personal injury, I have learned the hard way that having strategies in place to prevent injury is essential for my own personal recovery. By taking the necessary steps to prevent injury, you can keep yourself healthy, enjoy running without setbacks, and achieve your running goals. Remember that injury prevention is key to becoming a lifelong runner and we are all here for that RIGHT?

Do you have some tried and firm strategies to share that help keep you run injury free? I would love to hear them, and I know that you could help at least one person stay injury free! 

Happy and safe running!

- Caroline Adams

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