We’ve all been there in one way or another. We took a wrong step, pushed it too far, went out too hard, or our bodies simply didn’t cooperate on that run. Running injuries happen for a myriad of reasons and they can happen to any runner at any level.
What Causes Running Injuries?
Every person, situation, and injury is different. Sometimes that twisted ankle couldn’t be avoided because the sidewalk really did jump up and get you! However, many running injuries can be avoided by properly warming up and cooling down, stretching, and utilizing proper running form. Missing any one of these crucial aspects can lead to an unwelcome injury.
Related article: 3 Exercises To Help You Achieve (Near) Perfect Running Form
But sometimes, just like that forsaken sidewalk, injuries happen even with our best efforts and best foot put forward. Here are 5 rules for runners recovering from an injury.
Proper Diagnosis Of Running Injuries
A twisted ankle, unbearably chaffed thigh or bruised ego can often be quickly and accurately self-diagnosed. If you’re a seasoned runner, you may even be able to immediately recognize shin splints or stress fractures.
Even so, the best thing to do after experiencing a running injury is to immediately seek diagnosis and treatment from a medical professional. They can take the guesswork out of exactly what caused the injury, what it is, and what steps (whether rest and/or physical therapy) are needed to make a full recovery.
Take Time To Heal
Worrying about lost mileage, the time it will take to get back in shape, or how much an injury will set you back will not help you. In fact, dwelling on worries like these can lead to further injury! Many injuries are exacerbated by those who are so focused on lost time that they jump the gun and return to running before their bodies are ready.
Without the appropriate time to heal, you can very easily aggravate the injury. This will add more time to the healing process. It is also possible to injure other parts of your body. When proper running form is compromised due to an injury in one part of your body, it can lead to injury in other parts of your body.
Long story short, taking time to heal will save you time in the long run.
Take It Slow
When you’ve finally received the “a-okay” to get moving again, it’s very important to take it slow. While you’re brain is ready to get moving, your muscles and the rest of your body will need a little bit of time to get up to speed (and distance) again!
Incorporating different cross training, strengthening exercises, and stretches (especially those targeting the injured area) may help with your transition from the bench to the pavement!
Pay Attention to Your Body and Running Form
Pay attention, now more than ever, to how your body is feeling and to your form while running. Pay particular attention to the area of the injury, it may still be weak, feel sore or fatigued. Remember to give it the time it needs and take things slowly.
In addition to this, often other parts of your body will try to compensate for the weakened area. This can result in fatigue, poor running form, and further injury. Paying attention to your entire body and focusing on proper running form, may help avoid further running injuries.
Prevent Future Running Injuries With Proper Training and Running Form
Now that you’re moving again, even if you’re just starting, take time to prevent future running injuries by staying active during your day (movement is very important for a healthy body), maintaining a healthy diet, utilizing proper posture and running form; integrating strength and cross training; and stretching regularly. Doing these things will ensure that your body is strong, primed, and ready to go!
Related Article: 6 Resistance Band Exercises to Prevent Running Injuries