The risk of injury as a runner is something that you should always be aware of and do your best to avoid. Even the slightest twinges can be indicative of a larger problem, and it is always sensible to pay close attention to what your own body is telling you!
If you are just getting into running then it is important that you ease into it slowly so as to keep your chances of experiencing an injury to a minimum. Starting slow and steady will also help to build your confidence as your strength, stamina, and endurance are also naturally increasing.
One of the very worst things that can happen to a new runner is that they injure themselves in the first few weeks and then decide never to return to their running shoes again! This is a problem that you can work to avoid by never pushing yourself too far to start with, and also to take certain safety precautions.
Recent research suggests that the shoes that some runners wear could be the biggest problem when it comes to why they are experiencing injuries.
A higher chance of injury is also often attributed to the rate at which training plans are progressed. It is so important that the body gets used to something before the pace is ramped up. This means that it is always sensible to increase the distance that you are running slowly over time - and the same goes for upping your speed.
In order to best protect against a running injury, there is no one thing that you should always be looking out for. The truth is that an injury can be caused by several factors at the same time, such as poor form combined with the wrong shoes and trying to run too far, too soon.
An injury could also of course simply be caused by having an accident whilst you are out on a run. This is one of the hardest things to protect against because it is near impossible to predict.
Experts have concluded over the last few years that in order to have the best chance of preventing a running injury, you need to keep your body strong, maintain proper running form, and also wear the correct shoes. When you embrace all three of this things in unison, then your chances of hurting yourself whilst out for a run become much lower. It can also mean that your training progresses at a better rate, and that you feel more comfortable and accomplished with your efforts.
Strengthening your body can go a long way to helping prevent injuries in many areas of your everyday life - not just when you are out for a run. However, this is a particularly useful concept for runners to embrace becase having strong muscles, strong tendons, and strong ligaments will help to protect the body against the impact of the feet hitting the ground.
If the body as a whole is not strong, then the way you move as you run will not be consistent or entirely balanced. However, with improved strength, the body becomes better able to move in the same way as you run. This means that your body is prepared for the ongoing impact and your muscles behave accordingly to protect against damage.
Having strong core and glute muscles will mean that they will contract as you run, which works to steady the legs and the pelvis. Furthermore, strengthening the muscles of the feet and ankles will make sure that the body is steady and supported as you go.
In addition to these individual muscle groups, it is also helpful if the whole body is strong so that there are no imbalances. If one muscle group is weaker then the body can over-compensate, and this increases the risk of injury and instability in the body. So partaking in a strength training routine that gives attention to the entire body, in addition to your running training, is the best course of action!
Strength training is also fantastic because it helps to build the neuromuscular pathways around the body, which are basically the lines of communication between the brain and the body. When these pathways are strong, then reaction times are increased and you have greater control over your own body, allowing you to run with greater ease and precision.
Fitness for Physical Health
Running is an amazaing way to enhance your cardiovascular health, as well as to support your mental health. It can also be very helpful for weight loss and for improving the health of the bones. However, as with any type of physical activity, the potential for injury of course exists.
At Onto Orthopedics we consider sports injuries to be one of our specialities, and you can reach out to us for a consultation and speedy diagnosis!