Running is a great individual effort sport. It teaches one how to set goals, adopt discipline, fix stride and cadence issues, breathe correctly, etc... Also, it is one of the most beneficial activities for cardiovascular health in general. With all of these upsides, why not run all the time. After all, the more activity the better correct? In this case, no.
With running, although it is so healthy for the heart and lungs, it can also be devastating on the joints and the muscles. The body is quickly and easily broken down from the impact of the feet to the street when running, and pain and injury tend to set in swiftly and chronically for long-time series runners.
If you want avoid pain and get rid of the possibility of injury as a runner, you will have to take precautions to make sure you do so properly. Here are some "how-to" tips to get rid of pain and injury as a serious runner.
1. Warm up and cool down with a walk
If you are going on a long run or even doing shorter fast-pace sessions that could include sprints, it is always best if you incorporate from time to cool down and decrease the heart rate. Not only will it get your heart rate in a proper zone, walking will also help to take the intense strain off of your joints temporarily so that there is lesser of a chance to over-train and injury yourself when running for a long period or sprinting for intervals.
2. Get a pair of padded insoles for your feet
If you plan to spend a lot of time in a pair of shoes hitting the pavement, you will want an insole that relieves pain caused by plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions because developing these conditions can be painful and also a major setback. Getting fitted for proper insoles and understanding how you place pressure on your body and spine through the striking of your feet can make the world of difference in long-term back pain and injury.
3. Get your cadence and form down
Looking to go out and put on 10 miles on the pavement and get up to distance or speed in a hurry? Working your way up too fast in general is a bad idea in terms of what your body can handle. However, it is also a bad idea to chase speed or distance too quickly before developing proper form and proper cadence. Work on a straight back with tucked arms and proper breathing first. Also, work on a cadence that is as close to 3 steps per second (180 steps per minute) as possible so that your form and stride are excellent prior to pushing your limits: it makes all the difference in the world.
4. Wear fitted running shoes
It is equally important to get a pair of running shoes that matches your style of running as it is to get your form down, wear the proper insoles, and warm-up properly. Getting fitted for your running shoes allows an expert to evaluate your pronation, your heel-to-toe strike (and the lift you need), the padding you need, the arch support you need, the weight of the shoe you need, etc... The proper running shoe takes you from a pain-laden injury-prone running nightmare, to the best running version of who you can be in just a matter of minutes: so pick out the right pair of shoes because it is vital to your running health!
These tips can give you some areas to work on in regard to avoiding injury and pain while runner. You have to take the proper precautions to make sure that running not only becomes a lifestyle-enhancing improvement for you, but also a sustainable practice.
Because the body is broken down so easily from running and also because running is such a great cardiovascular exercise, it is important to make sure you treat your body with the respect it needs to continue running for a long time.
If you have comments, suggestions, questions, or feedback, please leave below so we can discuss. Thank you!