Preventing Run Related Injuries

Every long distance running beginner has an origin story, usually a high school or college track star who propelled them forward from lackadaisical beginnings. Fast forward to present, running has become central to life for over sixteen years. It’s brought joy to some of the best known friends in the world. For those new to the world of running, it’s also introduced them to a world that’s both daunting and wonderful at the same time.

As stated in the beginning, each runner’s starting point is different. Different styles and habits result from that starting point. Running tips for the beginner runner start with easing into the basics of running. Running barefoot, low impact running, intervals, warming up and cool down are all important parts of any workout routine. The entire body is involved when running, which is why there are special shoes designed for each mode of foot movement, such as the pronation midfoot or the supination flatfoot.

When the body is doing the running, the muscles need to get stronger to accommodate the added stress on the joints. This can be done by adding more resistance when the body is working to maintain or increase speed. Adding intensity during the running motion allows the muscles to get stronger so that when the body returns to a more relaxed state, there is less soreness and pain.

One area to focus on is the hamstrings, or the backside of the quadriceps, glutes, calves and hip flexors. These are the most commonly injured muscles in any type of running. A lot of times, athletes will not realize that they are stiff until they stand in front of the mirror after a run. It is during the final phases of the run that tight hamstrings are the most apparent.

Strengthening the muscles in the calf and leg area helps runners prevent injuries. The muscles are stretched in a running motion, and if they are tight, there will be a tendency for the muscle fibers to pull on the tendon sheath, causing a pain, spasm or instability. This can cause pain, stress and inflammation to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. However, if the condition is not severe enough to prevent a run, there are some simple exercises to strengthen the muscles. As long as the pain and discomfort do not impede one from completing their next exercise, it is advisable to strengthen the muscles in this area.

It takes time and effort to become an effective runner. The more the person trains, the better their performance will become. If they have an injury prevention plan in place, there will be less chance of a run ending in a strain. Following simple running tips can make a big difference in injury prevention and allow people to enjoy their running and participating in an activity that is fun and healthy.

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