Blasted Injuries, Begone!
Any seasoned runner will have faced the tough reality of it: injuries come with the territory. We wish we could lie and say it’s a low-impact and easy sport, but the truth is just the opposite.
As runners, we have come to accept that at some stage, we are going to experience discomfort that will prevent us from running as we normally do. Luckily, there are tons of ways to keep yourself as injury-free as possible and to reduce the risk of injury recurrence.
To keep it short and sweet: Mobility is key. Mobility, mobility, mobility.
We all know it — and most of us never do it. It’s one of those things you just have to weigh up in your own head.
Commit yourself to stretching in some form or other every day. It’s a time-suck, and it’s not always comfortable or enjoyable — but that’s the price of reducing your risk of injury. If you put off that 20 minutes a day, you’ll be kicking yourself later when you’re sidelined with an injury!
Get up that little bit earlier, fit it in after exercise — whatever it takes. Once you realise the value of daily stretching, you’ll find a way to fit in that 20 minutes a day. And you’ll be thankful you did!
Having some power in that upper body never goes astray. Leg work improves the body’s ability to tolerate those high-impact forces, and core exercises are one of the best ways to improve and maintain your running posture on those harder sessions.
This one in particular can be taken at different levels. For the recreational runner, a little bit of strength training is enough to give noticeable improvements, and to reduce your risk of injury.
For the competitive runner — if you haven’t tried it yet, you are in for a world of delight as you watch your times get faster and faster!
Remember, improving strength will lower mobility unless stretching is kept up. It’s a good idea to work these two together!
Nutrition & Hydration
Eating foods that are stuffed with salt and sugar doesn’t do your body any good. Salts will dehydrate your body, and too much sugar can lead to a range of health problems.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying that burger and chips now and again! It’s all about finding the right balance, and trusting your body’s intuitive response to food. If certain foods make you feel bad, it might be time to cut them out!
It can be hard to fully hydrate, especially if you’re dashing to the restroom every twenty minutes. But your body will adjust, and it will thank you as you get deeper into your training! Try to get around two litres of water a day, or more if you can!
If you are looking for an in depth nutrition guide we will be posting one soon.!
This is the stuff
It sounds silly and made up, but having the proper nutritional intake will work wonders for how you feel, perform and recover. Recovering quicker and more efficiently will reduce your risk of chronic overuse injuries, which, coincidentally, make up the vast amount of injuries a runner will experience.
Lots of veg, naturally occurring sugars in their solid form, plenty of fats, a healthy variety of meats and taking on more water will all aid you in your quest!
Warm Up & Cool Downs
Skipping these on long slow runs won’t end you. If you are doing hill sessions, interval work, tempo training, races — just do it. (Hi there Nike, don’t sue us). Seriously, folks: it’s important to get in some sort of a warm up and cool down on these sessions.
Before competitions, it is especially important to warm up. The faster the workout or race, the longer the warm up needed. A warm up of 5-10 minutes helps to flush out lactic acid build-up in muscles and prevents delayed muscle soreness.