Prehab: Avoid Injury when Running
Although running is a very effective exercise, running can also lead to injuries that can hinder your quest to a healthier you if you don’t take precautions. Fortunately, there are a few prehab techniques that you can use to help you avoid injury before, during, and after running.
1. Evaluate your work space.
For about 8 to 9 hours each day for a total of 40 plus hours each week, many people are confined to a work space. Whatever position that you are in while you are at work is the position that your body stays in from the time you start your work day until it ends. Sitting at a desk all day will tighten your hip flexors and lengthen your glutes. This increases your risk of lower back pains while you are running.
REHAB: Allow yourself standing breaks while at work. Also, add exercises to your daily routine that will help to strengthen your glutes and stretch your hip flexor. These are your key running muscles.
2. Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more.
Stretching is a great way to get your muscles ready to run. It loosens your muscles helping to prevent muscle fatigue and muscle cramping.
REHAB: Stretching before you run is important, but it is better if you stretch throughout the entire day up until it is time to run. Stretching for 45 seconds different times during the day can help to decrease muscle tension in your back and legs.
3. Make your core stronger.
With a strong core, you greatly decrease your chance for injury while running.
REHAB: Get in the plank formation and with a straight back, hold it for 30 seconds. Do this for a few intervals. At first, this exercise may be a struggle but the more you work at it, the better you will become and the stronger your core will become as well.
4. Find the right plan and keep it.
Everything runs more smoothly when a plan is in place. This is also the case when it comes to running. You need to develop a plan that is right for you so you can properly develop throughout your training.
REHAB: Once a plan is in place, follow it closely and avoid skipping days. There is no such thing as make up days when it comes to running. A missed run is a lost run. Your plan should be personalized to your abilities.
5. Water is the best hydration.
Training when you are not hydrated is one way to cause injury. Dehydration slows down your reaction time making it more difficult to avoid running over obstacles that could be dangerous. Your blood also becomes thicker making it harder to release glycogen to keep you energized to keep running.
REHAB: Drink plenty of water each day, and double up on water intake during your training sessions. The more you sweat, the more you will need to replace the hydration in your body. Water does not have to be your only consumption of liquid, but it should definitely be the majority if you are an avid runner.
Photo by David Baird