I’ve only had a few injuries in my time running (twisted ankle, IT band injury, Forearm strain (gardening)) but when I’ve had injuries I’d give anything to recover from it. The universal recovery for injuries is Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation…. but it can be hard.
Anyway, I’ve done a few blog posts about injuries which are below.
- Forearm strain
- My Fit Friend…
- Wrecked my knee and my plans
- 12 common running injuries…
- Iliotibial band friction syndrome
- IT band rehab workout
Without question, training errors are the greatest single cause of injuries that prevent runners from participation. These particular runners can be categorised into two major groups.
The first type adopts the philosophy that “more is better” and builds their mileage too rapidly and thus suffers breakdown and/or injury.
The second group of runners is very inconsistent in their training and misses several workouts in a row, for example. Then, recognising that they are behind in their training, pour on the miles(or intensity) in an effort to catch up. Several of these mistakes are listed below.
Consistent training is one of the major keys to running improvement. Conversely, inconsistent training can lead to a variety of injuries. It is vital that you do not miss several days in a row of running and then jump right back into your training program. Doing so greatly increases your risk of injury, as you must build your mileage gradually.
Building Mileage Too Rapidly
It’s suggested that you should adhere to the 10 percent rule. This two-part rule specifies:
(1) do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent nor (2) increase the distance of your long run by more than 10 percent per week.
Not Following the Hard-Easy Concept of Training
Hard workouts will include long progression runs, races, speedwork, hill repeats, and/or any other stressful workout. You should very rarely run two really hard workouts back to back. It is key for you to take some easy days. You can not run hard everyday.
Injury Prevention Strategies
Heed Injury Warning Signs
There are too many types of running injuries and treatment options that could be addressed to cover specifics.
Depending on the type of injury, you may simply need to follow some basic steps such as icing, using anti-inflammatory medication, or above all, taking a rest/cross training day or two to allow the injury to heal. (R.I.C.E)
Continuing to run will only slow down the recovery process or even make the injury more serious. In addition, by favouring the injury and altering your natural running style, a secondary injury may develop. If your injury doesn’t respond to rest and/or the rehabilitation measures just described or becomes a regular reoccurrence, it is then prudent to seek the advice of a doctor or physio familiar with running and sports-related injuries.
Here are some steps you can take to avoid injury:
• Running on soft surfaces. While it is not always possible to due to our surroundings, when possible, running on soft surfaces (grass, limestone, woodchips, etc) will greatly reduce the impact on your legs that can increase your risk of injury.
• Wearing good shoes. New running shoes should be purchased at least every 400-500 miles. Try to find a shoe that works best for your foot type and stick with it. This may not be the prettiest shoe, but one that works well. Generally, the lightest shoes will not be durable enough for the amount of running we do. If you are unsure of what to look for in a training shoe, visit a local running specialty stores for assistance.
• Stretch regularly. Stretching can help limit your chance for injuries before they occur. It is important that when you do stretch you do it properly.
• Core work and running form drills. You can do core work and running drills which can help to reduce injury rates, along with making one a more efficient runner.
• Regular weight training. Option to weight train twice a week using light weights-high reps to hopefully offset these imbalances.
• Cross-Training activities. When possible supplement some running with alternative activities to give both your body and mind a break from the daily demands of running. Try to get into the pool as often as possible to give the legs a break from the pounding.
• Utilise recovery techniques. There are several therapeutic measures you can take to recover from stressful runs or from the cumulative effects of hard training over a long period of time. Sports massage therapy is great after a long run, hard race/workout, and/or weeks of heavy training. Taking ice bathes after a hard effort is another therapeutic technique. Soaking your legs in a whirlpool with cold water for 10-15 minutes after a race or long run often aids in the recovery of fatigued & sore muscles. Something as simple as taking a walk or going for a very easy slow jog can also help.
• Get plenty of sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep is often overlooked, but consistent sleep patterns can drastically effect your performance levels and your body’s general recovery. Eight hours is considered the ideal amount of sleep, but a range of 6.5 to 8 is a good range. Your body needs time to recover from the demanding training placed upon. The better recovered you are, the better your body will perform on a daily basis, allowing for consistency in your training.