Being a runner is a fantastic way to keep fit! It can be a very challenging but extremely rewarding and fun activity that will help to promote good health. Although it is incredibly easy to get started, it is also just as easy to suffer an injury and this can have a long lasting negative impact. The majority of these injuries are completely avoidable if you develop your practice at an appropriate pace and wear proper footwear.
Training too much or over exerting yourself during training is one of the quickest ways to give yourself a running injury. The best way to train safely is to start slow and never to increase your efforts more than 10% with each session. So if you run ten miles one day then when you go out running again be sure not to run more than 11 miles. This will help your body to improve slowly and makes it less likely that you will damage anything!
It is also essential that you work to strengthen the rest of your body as well as working on your running. Include weight training in your regime so that you are working all of your muscle groups and building strength as well as stamina. It will also help if you partake in a separate cardio exercise to supplement your training. Again, this helps to work different muscle groups which helps to keep your body fighting fit.
The way that your foot hits the floor might sound like a small thing but it can actually lead to injury if you are not hitting the floor properly. Research suggests that if the foot hits the floor heel first then the impact is distributed more evenly, helping to prevent injury. However there are some runners who believe that allowing the foot to land midfoot is the most protective way to run. Similarly the type of shoe that you wear to run can help to prevent injuries from occurring. It is best to choose a low drop shoe with an elevated heel.
Taking the time to recover well is just as important as giving it your all when you are out for a run. Make sure you have rest days where you do no strenuous exercise at all and make sure that you are properly nourishing your body to keep your energy levels up.
If you do not follow these basic guidelines when you are undergoing running training then you are likely to suffer from a range of injuries from stress fractures to anterior knee pain syndrome. You may also incur further damage if you take a fall and harm other parts of your body. So train hard but train safe and you will be on your way to running well!