Top 10 Tips for Injury Prevention
10 – Follow the training schedule and avoid OVERTRAINING.
- There is a fine line between OVER-training (doing TOO much and at too hard of an effort) and UNDER-training (doing TOO little). That small margin could be the difference between pain-free training and an injury.
9 – Get a GAIT ANALYSIS to understand your movement patterns & limitations.
- Understanding the ins and outs of your unique running form will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the global movement patterns that could be limiting your strength, mobility and flexibility, and ultimately preventing you from achieving your peak performance.
8 – CROSS TRAIN.
- Cross training is any form of exercise outside of running. It allows us to add volume and frequency to our training in a safe and effective manner. Running is a high-impact exercise that involves repetitive motion over a long period of time. By implementing other forms of cardiovascular exercise, we can improve our strength, flexibility and endurance without the added stress of running alone.
- Here are a few popular examples of cross training: yoga, pilates, swimming, cycling, CrossFit, etc.
7 – Incorporate STRENGTH TRAINING 2x/week, emphasizing your lower extremity and core.
- Regular strength training helps you stay healthy and become a faster, more efficient runner.
- The best strengthening exercises: are three-dimensional, multi-joint; focus on the FULL body and are running-specific. Check out the “strength” workouts in your weekly TFK emails.
6 – Stretch in a DYNAMIC, THREE-DIMENSIONAL manner.
- Functional, dynamic stretching is a more active and specific way to loosen up your body before a workout, expedite recovery post-workout and improve flexibility and joint mobility.
- A good place to start is with a lunge matrix stretch to assess areas of the body that feel limited or restricted. From there, key in on specific stretches or movements to address areas that need it.
5 – Perform SELF-MYOFASCIAL release before and after workouts.
- Self-myofascial work provides relief from muscle pain & soreness; increases flexibility & strength; accelerates recovery; and releases knots, trigger points and adhesions that can result from training.
- Roll before and after exercise for BEST results; implement breathing techniques for relaxation.
- Check out four rolling techniques at http://finishlinept.com/videos.
4 – Compression is KEY.
- Post-exercise compression can be utilized to expedite recovery. Whether it be calf sleeves, full compression tights, compression is one of the most effective methods to enhance recovery, especially after those hard efforts (repetition, tempo or long workouts).
3 – HYDRATE early and often.
- Water is crucial for your body to achieve optimal function. Water brings nutrition to your cells, helps you digest & metabolize food, and regulates your blood volume & pressure.
- How much should you drink? 6 x body weight = # of ounces of water/day
- Instead of sugary electrolyte replacement drinks, replace the salt you lose during a workout by adding a ¼ tsp. of celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt for every quart of water. To give it a bit of natural flavor, squeeze in some fresh lemon or orange juice.
2 – Introduce VARIATION to help avoid repetitive stresses.
- Alternate and/or change your running shoes frequently; ensure you are in the most appropriate shoe for your foot and body type; vary running surfaces; change your running route; adjust the type of workout; and incorporate cross-training on non-running days.
1 – LISTEN to your body.
- You are the only one that knows exactly what you are feeling. You are the best judge of whether or not you should RUN or REST. Be smart! If there is any doubt as to whether you should run, choose the more conservative route: complete rest or (pain-free) cross training.
- Additionally, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a great option to continue running while recovering from an injury—without the added stress on your body.
- Not sure how long to cross train for? When done in place of running, simply cross train for the same amount of time you were scheduled to run.