Injuries during race training can cause major setbacks in achieving your race goals, so it is wise to prevent injuries in the first place. No matter what stage of runner you are – just beginning or running your 7th marathon, injuries during training and the race can be emotionally and physically challenging. With Denver’s Colfax Marathon just weeks away, this is a subject that is top of mind for many runners dealing with frustrating training injuries. Here are some tips from Web M.D. for a better warm-up that might help you avoid injuries in the first place.
- Warm-up and stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly — especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps. Also, warm up for five minutes — by walking, for example — before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.
- Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength.
- Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
- Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
- Be shoe smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. Remember that running shoes are recommended to last for a certain mileage. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, you over overdue for getting a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts.
- Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity.
- Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
- Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don’t run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
- Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.
- REST UP: One of the most crucial aspects of successful rehabilitation and future injury prevention is getting adequate rest, which sadly can derail a training program or even postpone your participation in a race. Many running injuries during training result from stress and overuse – which makes rest that much more important.
If you have an injury you would like to discuss, give our office a call and schedule an appointment today. It is always better to be safe than sorry when training. Good luck Denver this marathon season!