6 Steps to injury-free running
When you’re new to running, it’s not uncommon to pick up the occasional injury but here are 6 simple things that you can incorporate into your routine to steer clear of the running injury trap:
- Warm up
- Foam roll
- Activate your glutes
- Gradually increase your distance
- Vary your surfaces
To avoid pulling a muscle or cramping up, perform a basic warm up that will raise your body temperature and get blood pumping to your muscles. Then, perform a few mobilisations exercises to lubricate the joints – pay particular attention to the ankles and hips.
Runners tend to get very tight calfs, quads and IT band fibers. Spending a few minutes foam rolling these areas after your warm up will make you feel like a new person.
Make sure you stretch your calfs and quads daily.
Activate your Glutes
If a runner’s knees cave in too much, this is usually due to weak glutes. To avoid this, perform a few glute activation exercises before you run. However, be careful not over-fatigue them.
Gradually increase your distance
Don’t run too far too soon. Gradually increase your distance over a few weeks.
Vary your surfaces
Avoid running on the same surface or too firm a surface as this is a major culprit in ankle & knee injuries. Running on grass or treadmills is a great place to start.