Running and Injuries
Staying Injury free is a different process for everyone. I have struggled a lot with various injuries over the years, and wanted to share what has worked for me. I am not a Doctor or a physical therapist, so please seek out professional help if you think you have a serious injury.
1. The 10% rule doesn’t apply to everyone. When I first started running I thought that as long as I wasn’t adding more than 10% to each week that I would be fine. I was wrong about that, and I learned the hard way that my body needs a little bit less than adding 10% each week; it’s more like a 5% increase for me. Every runner is different and you to have find what works for you and your body.
2. The proper fitting shoes make a huge difference. I suggest going to a specialty running store, such as Run On or Luke’s Locker (these are Texas stores). They both have in-store treadmills and can watch how you run, which helps determine the proper fitting shoe. I also mark on my calendar when I purchased new shoes so I can know when to replace them. Most shoes last between 300-500 miles, but there are some variations to that depending on the type of shoe you buy.
3. You can’t just run. When I first started running all I did was run, 6-7 days a week. I got injured quickly and didn’t listen to my body. Now I only run 4 days a week, I rest at least 1 day, and the other days I take a spin class at the gym or do strength training at home. Running is hard on your body, and doing some cross training and strength training will only help your running improve.
4. Stretching and Foam Rolling are important. I know it takes time and can be boring to stretch and foam roll, but it works. I also add in some exercises that I learned from a physical therapist several years ago. Please let me know if you would like me to post the exercises.
5. Listen to your body. If there is a pain in a specific spot and it lasts longer than a day or two, you probably need to rest. Last summer I started to feel some pain in my left hip and after a few days it was still there. As much as I hated to do it, I took a week off from running and did the elliptical and cycling only. I cut back on my running for a few weeks, and eventually the pain went away. Taking a few days or even a week off is better than making the injury worse and being out for months!