Do you like running? For some people the answer is a resolute yes; for others it’s an equally firm no. For myself I used to run a lot, until pre-existing knee problems originating from my obese days caught on, and I got sidelined. I still run from time to time, but a lot less than what I used to. Anyway, if you are a runner, this is a short list of tips that can help you prevent injury.
One: Backward Warm-Ups
I’ve started with an unusual one to get you to pay attention. Here’s how this activity can be done: begin with a normal walk and keep on upping the tempo until you are just under the threshold for what is considered running. After that, walk backwards for half a minute slowly. Do this twice to prepare your hip muscles for the pressure of running.
Two: Be Careful When Making Changes
Whether it’s running or career progression, a bit of change from time to time can only be a good thing. When it comes to running, one way to progress is to increase intensity or distance, incorporating new areas to your route. One thing you must consider is that if the change is too drastic, parts of your legs might be activated to work in a certain way for the first time. Don’t overstress the system – take it easy and progress!
Three: Use Your Gut Feel To Pace
It’s normal for runners to pace themselves by looking at their watch constantly. This, however, might not be the best way to do it. You see, there are a lot of other factors involved that can determine how well you run on a given day. Some of these include sleeping patterns, frequency of training, diet and stress levels. Be fair to your body and use a bit of intuition instead of just using the watch.
Four: Beware Of The Number Of Steps
A bit of an unusual one, but this is something academics and experts recommend – and it’s not what you might think! If you are taking too little steps, you might have a huge stride which can increase the regular impact forces in running. If you are tall and lean, it might not be such a huge problem, but you should still be aware of it. A standard guideline is to take 88 steps or more per minute.
Five: Work On Your Flexibility
This ties in with points one and four. A lot of runners neglect other exercises or elements that come hand-in-hand (or maybe in this case leg-by-leg) with running. But the rationale is quite straightforward – the more flexible you are, the less you will stress the system out. Experts recommend working on deep tissue release or regular foam-rolling. It does not have to take a long time though.
Six: Move Around
On the topic of things to do apart from actual running, moving around often is strongly encouraged. You see, sitting around can de-activate gluteal muscles which are used a lot while running. You don’t want to do this. On the contrary, moving around a lot can teach and force your body to stabilise the muscles, resulting in better running posture and motion.
Seven: Food Matters
Yes, this is an article about running. But, it also comes hand-in-hand with eating. You see, if your diet isn’t healthy, it can impact on your exercise. I’m not just talking about performance, but recovery as well. Having a well-managed healthy diet can work wonders with your run, or any other exercise you might try and do.
That’s all the tips we have for you today. Hopefully some of it makes sense, and hopefully be incorporated into your regiment.
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