IF YOU HAVE A RUNNING INJURY
DO: Reduce your mileage to a pain free amount.
DO: Cross-train to maintain your overall fitness level with exercise such as biking, or swimming.
DO: Trust and listen to yourself. Irritability, fatigue, insomnia, severe muscle soreness, and getting colds and flu easily may be signs that you are overtraining.
DO: Progress at a naturally comfortable rate.
DO: See a doctor, physical therapist or other health professional who specializes in sports/running injuries. If they can’t help you they probably know someone who can.
DO: Warm up by walking or jogging slowly for at least five minutes.
DO: Cool down slowly at the end of your run by walking at least five minutes.
DO: Stretch after every run. Remember the best time to stretch is after you run when the muscles are pliable.
DO: Get on a weight training program to strengthen muscles around the hip, knee, ankle pelvic and abdominal area. Core stability is extremely important.
DO: Use a foam roller and a lacrosse ball for self massage to keep the tissues loose and supple to prevent injuries.
DON’T: Run through the pain. Your body is trying to tell you something – listen to it.
DON’T: Think you have to give up running. There’s help out there!
DON’T: Ignore the problem. If you do, it is more likely to come back, or get worse.
DON’T: Think that someone else can fix your problem. Physical therapists and others can help a great deal, but the ultimate responsibility for being injury free is yours!
DON’T: Take a non steroidal anti-inflammatory for an extended period of time as this may cause tissue damage.
TRAINING GUIDELINES FOR INJURED RUNNERS
- Run only as far as you can without pain. This is your starting point.
- Spread out your runs throughout the week. From the standpoint of avoiding injury you are better off running 4 miles in two separate days than 8 miles in one day.
- In the early stages of recovery from injury, don’t do speed or hill work.
- Add mileage by 10 % per week at a maximum. If additional mileage becomes too hard, do not force yourself through it.
If you do sustain injury, the RICE Method is advised. Remember that an injury does not mean you have to give up running! Think of it as a detour in the marathon of life!