If you plan to start actively running there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that you can avoid and prevent some of the most common beginner running injuries. These five tips will help you get started.
Don’t spend money on fancy shoes
Believe it or not, if you’re a new runner, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on new fancy shoes. In fact, you don’t have to buy new shoes at all. The ones you have at home are most likely perfectly fine. Not many people know that conventional running shoes actually weaken your feet, calves, and ankles. However, your goal is to strengthen your feet and you can do that with a pair of minimalist or five-finger running shoes. Running in unfamiliar shoes can negatively affect your running and can lead to running injuries. So, if you decide to start running, opt for more comfortable shoes that you already have.
Hire a professional running coach
The previous tip will help you save the money which you can use wisely for something else. For example, a good way to spend that money would be to spend it on hiring a running coach. You might think that something like that is unnecessary. I mean, we all know how to run after all. However, a professional coach can give you advice on certain techniques you need to keep in mind so that you can run properly and avoid getting injured.
Listen to your body
Being able to recognize your limits is very important. Don't push yourself to do things your body isn't ready for. Don't overwork yourself by trying to run faster or longer than you can. Instead, start small and work your way up to some more challenging tasks. It's crucial that you listen to your body. One way your body shows you that you need to stop is through the pain. If you instantly go above your limits and refuse to give your body the rest it needs, you are more likely going to get a running injury.
Don’t forget prehab and rehab
Self-care is also very important both before and after running. For instance, you shouldn't be stretching right before running because this way you're decreasing muscle elasticity and increasing the risk of getting injured. What you should do instead is to prepare your joints and tissues. The best way to do so is by pumping blood into your feet, ankles, and calves. Also, after you’re done running take good care of your feet. One of the best ways you can relieve the pain and stress from your feet is to try rolling your feet out over the top of a lacrosse ball. Apart from that, going to a sports focus podiatry can also do so much for you. It can ensure that you’re injuries are healed and that you avoid getting injured again.
Don’t get into running if it’s for a running race
Lastly, don’t run if you are only doing it for a race. Most of the race training programs heavily rely on handling volume management. These types of programs usually emphasize volume climbing to a peak with an extremely short time period before the race. Why can this technique cause problems? In case your running technique is flawed, you’ll be stuck repeating the wrong things but with greater intensity. Repeating the wrong in running can lead to many running injuries and that’s what you’re trying to avoid. If you’re new at running, try to keep it low and light at the beginning. Then, slowly work your way up towards a higher frequency and intensity of your running. Race preparation programs can be quite stressful and they’re generally not that great for beginners, so try to avoid them.
All things considered, all you need is to take it easy, listen to your body, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes, and that you take good care of your feet. Combining these tips together will help you avoid running injuries as a beginner.