There’s nothing more annoying than picking up a running injury. They always seem to arrive at the worst possible moments. Whether you’re training for an event, or just going out for a nice summer run. That random niggle, sharp strain or memorable ache can be a one-way ticket to expecting the worst. But don’t worry, we all know the feeling. Pain and injuries are very common. They usually happen when our bodies want to tell us something. So, therefore, it’s super important that we are open to listening.
Why do running injuries occur?
Injuries are an inevitable part of life, and there is never an optimal time to be injured. It starts with some slightly sore muscles, maybe even some random pain but it’s hard to figure out whether it is something that will pass or something that may evolve into something slightly more serious. However, the best thing to do in these early stages is to relax, take a hot shower and enjoy some recovery time. Give your muscles and mind a break from the strain of high-intensity exercise. Stay active but try to avoid anything too strenuous – especially if it affects the muscles in question. That might be all it needs. Sometimes this will work, sometimes it won’t. That’s the annoying reality of running injuries. Some take care of themselves after a day or 2 of rest. Some stick around for much, much longer than they are welcome! That’s why an understanding of how these injuries originate in the first place is vital if we wish to keep the risk of them occurring to an absolute minimum. Let us tell you a bit more about why injuries occur and how we can prevent them.
Beginner/running for the first time
The beauty of running is that it is accessible to everyone. Anybody can lace up their trainers and head out to the front door to embark on their first-ever journey as a person who runs. The freedom to pick up a form of exercise you know little to nothing about can be empowering, but also overwhelming. Make sure to take it easy. This may sound off-putting to some people, especially those with a competitive nature. However, is running a 5k straight without breaks on your first-ever run that important to risk an injury that might set you back a few weeks, potentially months? Probably not. That’s why it is important to start slow and to listen to your body. Aim for distance over time and see how you feel. If you can push for a 5k, go for it. If you’re struggling after 2, take a break. Go again once you’re ready. Your body needs time to adapt. This isn’t a race, not yet anyway!
All the gear but no idea?
Somewhere deep down in your closet, old running shoes are laying around to which you probably can’t say goodbye to. Even when the signs are already visible. Holes in the soles, tears in the tongue? One run away from digging out the Duct Tape? Chances are this means you’re overdue a trip to your local running store. ‘’But they still fit great!’’, we hear you cry. Yes, but the long-term impact this could be having on your feet, your muscles, your joints – all could be detrimental to your overall progress as a runner. Never mind what your running pals must think when you turn up to a running meet with your big toe hanging out. Just do your body a favour and treat yourself to a new pair. You’ll thank us in the long run!
Overtraining & lack of variety
Running sounds easily done. Especially when you’re new to the running game. You start to find your stride, you’re seeing huge progress and you want to keep it going. Never stop, rest is for the weak! We’ve all been there, it is tempting. But is it worth it? It sounds fun, running 5 times a week. However, when you train too much or not in the correct way, it could lead to serious injuries. We can never stress enough the importance of rest days. Even when you might feel fine. Rest & recovery should always play a core part in your overall running programme. Give your body a chance to rest and to grow. You’ll only come back stronger. Daily stretches, proper nutrition and a good quality sleep will all boost your progress way more efficiently than just trying to squeeze in the extra miles whenever you can. Have a balanced routine and stick to it. Trust the process and gradually increase your distance, and be consistent. Incremental changes of 10% are scientifically proven to be the safest way of improving your running performance as you not only make it achievable for your body, you also significantly reduce the risk of injury and fatigue. Varying your training regime is also very important. Don’t underestimate the power of resistance training and its ability to condition your body. Core-stability can play a huge part in improving your running form and therefore should not be left as an afterthought.
Preparation is key
Don’t be that person who just hits the ground running. You may look cool first, but your body will slowly start to hate you for it. A warming-up is very important to reduce the risk of injury. Warming up your muscles lets your body know that you’re about to head out for some exercise. Give yourself a chance to get the blood flowing and shake off all the cobwebs of the day. You’ll most likely improve your performance as you’ll find it easier to pick up the pace after a gradual build-up. Not only warming-up is important, make sure you don’t forget to cool down too! Right after you finish your run, transition into a brisk walk and let your heart rate gradually lower. This will help to reduce the build-up of lactic acid and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. Besides warming up and cooling down, make sure you wear appropriate clothing. Chilly outside? Wear some extra layers? Raining? Pop on the waterproofs. Running in the heat? Lose the layers and take some extra water with you. Be ready for anything, that’s the key.
Injury Insights series
In our newest series called Injuries Insights, we’ll be looking at teaching you more about the most common injuries for runners. Together with articles and infographics, we will teach you more about:
- (Runners) Knee
- Calf and Achilles
- Core (lower back)
If you want to know more about these 3 types of injuries, keep an eye out on our socials to learn more about these injuries and how you can prevent them from happening.
How can ARIONCOACH help you to prevent or treat injuries?
ARIONCOACH breaks down your running technique into simple-to-understand pieces. Each run you’ll focus on one aspect of your running technique at a time. After each run, the AI coaching engine assesses how you are getting on and continuously adapts as you progress towards your personalized goals. Helping you to run faster, run further and most importantly, run safer.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, please let us know what you liked about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d also love to hear what you want to see in future blogs so don’t hesitate to get in touch.