5 Top Tips to Avoid Running Injuries

10th September 2015

Running Injuries, Advice, Prevention

Great local running events such as the Cardiff 10K and Cardiff Half Marathon not only offer an opportunity to run in an organised race, but inspire people to take up running.

How to avoid running injuries Running offers access to a cheap and convenient source of activity and fitness, but there is nothing more frustrating than starting to increase your miles and then developing aches and pains that stop you from really progressing.

So in an aim to help you keep running, here are our top 5 tips:

1. Stretching
When we run our muscles become tighter, this is part of the strengthening process; however running with tight muscles is likely to cause muscle aches and possible pulls over time.

Tip one is a stretching programme before and after running. Before, to increase your flexibility following your daily activity and after, to elongate the fatigued muscles.

There is variable evidence for and against stretching. Overall, the more active your daily life is and the younger you are….. the less you need to stretch…therefore make your own decision!!

2. Hydration
Water is essential for the normal functioning of the body and if you become dehydrated you will not perform optimally.

Running will make you sweat and lose water, so regular drinking is essential. It is fairly obvious to drink after running (and during if needed), but just how much did you drink in the 3-4 hours prior to your run? Aim to drink little and often throughout your day, so that you do not start your run dehydrated.

3. Footwear
The bit between your foot and the road is very important. When you start running you have to be sure you will enjoy it before forking out for the kit. Once you have had a few runs and the bug has bitten, it is a great idea to head to a specialist running shop to try on a range of shoes.

Running shoes are all about comfort and control of your ankle and foot (oh yes, and colour!). Taking all these aspects into account is really important, as ill-fitting or ill-performing shoes can cause knee, hip and back pain.

The rule of thumb is to pay as much as you can afford and you will be giving your feet the best chance to carry over all these new miles of travel.

4. Plan your training
The buzz you get from running can result in you picking up the distances too quickly and too soon. You should try to gradually increase one variable of distance, speed or altitude (hills) at a time. This helps to avoid sharp increases in the effort of the run which, in turn, allows your muscles to gradually strengthen without getting injured.

5. Do not run through pain
We have all done it, one last run or pushing for the final couple of kilometres, but if you feel pain in a specific part of your body during or after a run then you should take it is a sign. Running through or when in pain is more than likely to make things worse and result in more problems.

We are here to help with pain and aches that relate or impact upon your training. Request a call back from one of our Physios and we can chat through your situation to determine the best approach to resolving the problem. All of our physiotherapists are highly experienced in treating running injuries and pains so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need help.