During our first week of Austin Fit training, Koala Health & Wellness came to share some tips about staying well and avoiding running injuries. As long as I’ve been running, I’ve never really sat and listened to the low down about how to stay injury free–which is probably why I keep getting injured. Duh.
Here are the highlights Dr. Kieke shared, and trust me, as obvious as some of them are (#7 & 9), I bet you’ve probably made the mistake of committing at least a couple of these on your run.
- Listen to your common sense. If you know you aren’t good to run, DON’T. Overuse is the number one cause of injury.
- Spend now, save later! Invest in the right equipment to avoid injuries. Don’t keep your gear till it’s worn down to nothing. As soon as it’s worn out, throw it out (or recycle it by taking it to your local Luke’s Locker!)
- You’ve got the right shoes, don’t skimp out on the rest of your attire. Buy good socks, not a 12 pack from Walmart that costs $5. Wonder why you’re getting blisters? Consider what you’re wearing.
- Bad bras are a girl’s worst friend. Avoid chafing! Bras are important in regular life, they’re even more important to stay comfortable in the running world. A poorly fit bra is going to make you chafe and chafing makes you change your gait. Changing your gait means you are risking getting hurt by overcompensating.
- Speed hill and long runs are vital for training for a distance race, after that the rest is up to you. Cross training is great, so is swimming, cycling or elliptical.
- If you’re doing weights, do weights for runners–don’t go out to set the world lifting record. It’s counter intuitive to what you’re doing.
- HYDRATE. Drink water all day–don’t have heat stroke because then you’ll just end up “on the shelf” for 3-6 weeks. Or you can die. Just. Drink. Water.
- Don’t carb load everyday. You don’t run to eat more. Carbs are fuel but you’ve got to fuel to mindful about carbing up at the right time to push the muscle. Protein is vital for muscle recover.
- Run with a clear mind. Not paying attention can mean hitting a hole and twisting an ankle.
- Don’t run angry (but running stressed is ok). When you run angry you run with speed and you’ll end up getting hurt. Run for the right reasons, not because someone is making you or you think you have to.
- Dr. Google is NOT your friend. Go to a sports medicine doctor. And never believe someone who says you have to quit running–there’s no such thing. I love this guy.
- ICE. 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off to keep your body well.
- Get a regular sports massage.
- Think you have a stress fracture? Refer to #12 and make sure that you get an MRI or bone scan because an x-ray won’t reveal the problem.