Question of the Week: What can I do to limit injuries while running

Hey Coach Brad,

This is Humza from Seattle Washington. I’ve been doing lots of running for BUDS but always on the road. It’s starting to get to my knees and ankles. What can I do to limit injuries but still run? Do more hikes/sprints or something instead?



Good question Humza

To limit injuries while running, it’s essential to prioritize proper technique, training, and self-care. Here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of running-related injuries:

Start Slowly: If you’re new to running or returning after a break, begin with a gradual progression in terms of distance and intensity. Avoid doing too much too soon to allow your body to adapt.

Proper Footwear: Invest in well-fitting running shoes that provide the right support and cushioning for your foot type and running style.

Warm-up and Cool Down: Always warm up with light dynamic stretches and cool down with static stretches to improve flexibility and prevent muscle strains.

Maintain Good Form: Focus on maintaining proper running form, such as a slight forward lean, relaxed shoulders, and a midfoot strike. Avoid overstriding, which can lead to injuries.

Cross-Training: Include cross-training activities like strength training and yoga to improve overall fitness and balance muscle development.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain. Don’t push through injuries; give your body time to heal.

Rest and Recovery: Incorporate rest days into your training schedule. Adequate sleep and recovery are crucial for injury prevention.

Gradual Progression: Increase your mileage or intensity slowly to allow your body to adapt. The 10% rule is a good guideline – don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% from the previous week.

Surface Selection: Be mindful of the surfaces you run on. Softer surfaces like grass or trails are easier on your joints compared to hard pavement.

Proper Nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for recovery and energy.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue, so make sure you’re well-hydrated before and during your runs.

Stretching and Strength: Incorporate regular stretching and strength training exercises to improve flexibility and muscle stability.

Regular Check-ups: If you’re prone to injuries or have pre-existing conditions, consider getting a professional evaluation and guidance from a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist.

Footwear Maintenance: Replace your running shoes when they show signs of wear and tear, typically every 300-500 miles, depending on the shoe and your running style.

Join a Running Group: Running with a group or club can help you stay motivated and receive feedback on your form and training regimen.

Remember that running injuries are not always preventable, but these practices can significantly reduce the risk. If you experience persistent or severe pain, consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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