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5 Training and Injury Prevention Tips for Runners

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5 Training and Injury Prevention Tips for Runners

By Kaan Celebi, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS, Clinical Coordinator, St. Charles Rehabilitation

Have you started training for a 5k, 10k, or even a marathon? Or do you just want to get off that couch and get your legs moving again? 

Here are 5 ways you can prevent injuries and stay healthy.

1.Proper Footwear:
If you have never run before and plan to start as a part of a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, it is essential to wear the right sneaker.  We all can get sucked into the marketing hype around newer trends and fancy shoes, but that doesn’t mean every type of sneaker is appropriate for you.  If you are going to run regularly, be sure to have your feet examined by a professional who can put you in the right type of running sneaker.

In addition, if you have been running for while, it is important to replace your sneakers after 300-400 miles of use.  If you are not sure if it’s time, look at the treads on the bottom of the shoes.  Are they completely worn?  This is a sign that the shoe is fading and it may be time for a replacement.

2.Stay Hydrated
Especially on hot days! Drink plenty of water before and after your run. One way to assess your hydration is to weigh yourself pre and post-run.  For every pound you lose on your run, you should drink 16 ounces of water.  For example 2 pounds lost during a run equals 32 ounces of water intake.

3.Follow the 10% rule
If you are getting off the couch to train for a race, use the 10% rule--only increase your running volume by 10% each week.  This is a safe guideline to follow if you are unsure on how to increase your training over time. It has been reported in several studies that those who increase their weekly workload by more then 20% are at higher risk of getting injured.

4.Don’t run with sore muscles
 Many running enthusiasts may use the “recovery run” to refer to shorter runs following a race or intense training session, either of which can cause muscles soreness. However, running with sore muscles is a recipe for disaster. Recovery from a physical activity like running should not include the activity itself.  Instead, try a light walk or a modified yoga session to help those muscles recover and rid soreness.

5. Get help from a professional if you are experience pain or swelling
While pain or swelling may make you feel tough, it is important to seek advice from a professional as soon as you notice discomfort. If left untreated, minor aches and pains can snowball into serious injuries that can keep you out of the race, or force you back onto the couch.

The sports medicine therapists at St. Charles Rehabilitation are experienced in treating and educating athletes at all levels. For more information about sports therapy at St. Charles, call (631) 474-6797.