On the lead-up to any race, it becomes more important to prevent injuries whilst in training. After all, you don't want to hinder your training plans or worse still, all your hard work going to waste! To help you stay in shape and injury-free when running read our tips below:
1. Start slow: Avoid doing too much too soon and gradually increase your running distance and intensity. If you are a beginner, start with a walk-run interval program to help you build endurance.
2. Take rest days: Rest and recovery are essential for preventing injuries. Make sure to include rest days between workouts and reduce your running intensity after a long run.
3. Warm up and cool down: Take 5-10 minutes to warm-up and cool down before and after running to reduce your risk of injury. This preparatory stage can consist of light exercises that prepare your body for the upcoming run.
4. Stretch: Stretching your muscles after a run can help prevent injury by increasing flexibility and preventing your muscles from becoming too tight.
5. Strengthen your muscles: Focus on strength-training exercises that target the muscles most commonly used in running, such as the core, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. These muscles can be strengthened through bodyweight exercises, resistance band workouts, and lifting weights.
6. Use proper running form: Proper running form reduces the stress on your body, joints, and muscles which can decrease the chance of an injury. Coaching and other resources can help you identify steps to improve your form.
7. Listen to your body: Pay attention to any warning signs of pain or discomfort while running and moderate or take a break to avoid further injury.
8. Wear proper running shoes: Wearing appropriate shoes designed for running and provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability can prevent injuries.
9. Cross-training: Opt for low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, and yoga to reduce the strain on your body.
10. Stay hydrated and fuel correctly: Dehydration and poor nutrition can impair performance and lead to injury. Drink enough water and eat a well-balanced diet with sufficient macronutrients and micronutrients to maintain energy levels.