How to Prevent Running Injuries

With 2019 fast approaching the vast majority of us like to kick start the year by implementing a new health and fitness regime, running being a popular one. It’s all too common that when someone starts a new training regime a month or so later they start feeling a twinge of pain.

One of my top tips is ‘prehab’ opposed to ‘rehab’ meaning that preventing an injury is far better than curing one. Chronic injuries are the most common - injuries that have built up over time, the most prevalent being: knee pain, ankle pain, shin splints and plantar fasciitis to name a few. So, the minute you start to feel that slight niggle of pain, don’t ignore it, speak to someone such as a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist.

Here are a few pointers to help you run injury free:

1. Improve or maintain flexibility

Daily stretching - after you’ve warmed up, it’s important that your muscles are warm.

2. Strength Training

This improves the body’s overall strength and therefore reduces muscle fatigue that can lead to poor performance and injuries

3. Footwear

The type of shoe you need varies depending upon your foot type and running style. The basics of a good trainer should have; laces or adjustable fastenings and a good cushioned sole.

4. Gradually increase your distance

An easy basic rule is to aim for an increase in training volume of between 5-10% per week. One of my favourite tools for people just starting out on their running journey is an app for your phone called ‘Couch to 5k’ an easy way of getting to run 5km (around 3 miles) in just 9 weeks.

5. Warm up and cool down before and after all runs and races

It’s important to warm up prior to running. The longer or faster the run, the longer you need to warm up. A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps to flush out lactic acid build-up in muscles and prevents delayed onset muscle soreness more frequently known as DOMS

Happy Running!