It’s hard to believe we’ve been posting these training updates for eight weeks now, and Fort4Fitness race day is just four weeks away! We reached out to Jen, who has been working her way from a brisk walk to the 4-mile finish line, to see how things are going.
“It’s been tough to find the time, I’m not going to lie. I have three busy boys at home, and dinner to make, and baths to give, and a full time job, and there are days I just can’t get to it. On top of that, what started as aches and pains, now feel more severe, specifically in my knee and hip. I worry about doing damage. Maybe I wasn’t ready? I worry about hurting myself permanently.”
Suffering an injury from running is certainly a common concern. The activity puts so much stress on the body, it’s no surprise it brings a unique set of risks. In fact, according to work from the University of South Florida, for every 100 hours the average runner logs, he/she will suffer at least one injury, typically from overuse. We asked the team at Parkview Sports Medicine to explain how we can minimize the risks.
As a runner, you’re most vulnerable to injury during four periods of time:
1) During the first 4-6 months of running.
2) When you return to running after an injury.
3) When you suddenly increase your mileage.
4) When you suddenly increase your speed.
Luckily, you can take preventive measures to minimize your risk of injury during these periods and every day.
7 Tips for Reducing Running Injury Risk
- Remember the 10 percent rule. Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10 percent each week. Suddenly increasing the miles you run can cause overuse injuries.
- Do warm-up and cooldown exercises. Make sure you incorporate proper warm-up and cooldown exercises into your conditioning routine. This helps your body ease into, and out of, a workout, which can keep injuries at bay.
- Practice safe running techniques. Learning and practicing safe running techniques is important to maintaining your health and preventing injury. You can work with a coach, athletic trainer or physical therapist to achieve proper running techniques.
- Get adequate nutrition. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with the right amount of calories can enhance your performance. After running, maximize your recovery by eating a meal with fiber-rich carbohydrates, lean protein and heart-healthy fats. You can schedule a one-on-one appointment with our Parkview Sports Medicine registered dietitian nutritionist to discuss a meal plan to meet your performance goals.
- Wear properly fitting shoes. Make certain you have properly fitting shoes, and keep track of how many miles your shoes have logged. You should replace your shoes about every 600 miles, if not sooner. Usually, staff members at a specialty running shoe store can help you figure out what shoe is the perfect fit for you.
- Keep a running journal. Keeping a detailed running journal can help you track your mileage, intensity and progress. It can even help identify problems related to overtraining, if they arise. It’s helpful to record your mileage, course and how you felt before, during and after your run.
- Know your limits. Overtraining can cause overuse injuries, so mix up longer, tougher runs with shorter, easier recovery runs. Don’t forget to schedule regular rest days as well. They’ll help you stay healthy, and your body will thank you for it.
Share your training setbacks and successes in the comments section or by tweeting at @parkviewhealth with #runthefort.
- Want to sign up for the race? Start here.
- Need a training plan? Get yours here.
- Experiencing sore muscles? Get help here.
- Questioning your cross-training? Find motivation here.
- Feeling the heat? Get help here.
- Want nutrition information? It’s right here.
- Experiencing chafing or blisters? Relief is right here.
- Questioning your training surface? Read about treadmills here.
- Need snack ideas for after the run? Yummy options can be found here.