How to Prevent Running Injuries
Running injuries occur when your body is under too much physical strength and unable to adapt. Over half of all runners suffer at least one injury each year, making training for long-distances and running virtual races all the more difficult. Take a look at these seven tips on how to prevent injuries and improve your running technique.
Training effectively will help you to achieve your personal fitness goals and avoid a running injury. If you are new to running, then it is especially important to avoid overtraining and start slow. Aim to increase your mileage gradually each week and establish a progressive training plan to develop your running ability safely and set yourself realistic SMART goals.
If you’re a beginner runner training for your first virtual 5k race, check out our ACE Races Couch to 5k programme.
Wear Suitable Running Shoes
When running, it’s crucial to wear the correct running shoes, such as neutral running shoes, support running shoes or trail running shoes, for your specific running style. Wearing improper footwear or old running shoes with no cushioning can change your gait and cause running injuries. Wearing the wrong size or fit of running shoe can also cause a range of injuries, from blisters to damaged bones.
Take a look at our ACE Races guide to buying running shoes to make sure you get the right fit for you.
Remember to Warm-Up & Cool Down
Warming-up before running is essential for reducing the chance of pulling a muscle or experiencing strain. Making sure to perform dynamic stretches before a run will improve your range of motion and flexibility, as well as helping to prevent a running injury. Cooling-down and stretching after a run will also help your body to recover more efficiently and be prepared for your next training session.
For more information on how to prevent running injuries, and help your body to recover. Take a look at our post on the importance of warming up and cooling down.
Strength training can also reduce your risk of injury when running. Keeping your muscles, tendons and ligaments strong will act as a guard against impact when running and improve your gait. Include some strength training exercises, such as wall presses and eccentric heel drops, in your routine to help keep your body strong and improve your running performance.
Improve Your Running Posture
Poor running posture can lead to numerous injuries, so it’s important to check your form and make sure that your upper body is upright and your shoulders do not hunch forward, as this can lead to difficulty breathing and lower back pain. You can improve your running posture by doing core exercises and staying aware of your form even as your body becomes tired.
Fix Your Heel Strike
Heel striking is when your heel lands in front of your hips during each stride and strikes the ground first. Many new runners heel strike, and it can cause common running injuries such as shin splints or joint pain. Striking the ground with your forefeet first can help to reduce the risk of injury.
Take your rest days
It may be tempting to run every day when preparing for a competition, but intense training can put too much strain on your body. Rest days are vital for allowing your body’s muscles to recover from any tears or damage that may have occurred. As well as strengthening your body, rest days can also sharpen your focus and help your brain to relax.
Virtual Races with ACE Races
Whether you’re new to running, in great form and training consistently, or you’re recovering from an injury, our virtual races mean you can work towards your personal fitness goals and compete at your own pace.
With ACE Races, there’s always a race near you! Run in the park, around your local area or on the treadmill, however you complete the distance is up to you! Choose from our exciting virtual 5k races, virtual 10k races, virtual half-marathons, and virtual marathon races.
Simply enter a virtual race today and complete the distance using a fitness tracker or smartphone app to monitor your progress. Send evidence of your time and distance to firstname.lastname@example.org for verification, and we’ll send you a custom-made and collectable medal in the post!
Further reading to help you prevent a running injury
Discover our Guide to Muscle Recovery