7 Steps To Preventing Running Injuries

By Paul on 2/02/2016

The best approach to preventing running injuries is to be proactive and not ignore the warning signs of an injury. By taking steps to treat pain in its early stages rather than waiting until you have a full-blown running injury, you can limit your pain and reduce the amount of time you need to take off from running.

7 steps to preventing running injuries

The best approach to preventing running injuries is to be proactive and not ignore the warning signs of an injury. By taking steps to treat pain in its early stages rather than waiting until you have a full-blown running injury, you can limit your pain and reduce the amount of time you need to take off from running.

Here are some ways you can be proactive in your approach to running injuries:

1. Don't assume you're invincible.

If you run on a regular basis, you're most likely going to get at least one running injury this year. It's better to assume that you will get injured so you'll be more aware when your body is signaling that something is wrong. Runners who think they won't get injured will often ignore injury warning signs, push through pain, and end up making injuries far worse.

2. Use R.I.C.E. treatment.

As soon as you feel something that's not quite right during or after a run, use R.I.C.E (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) self-treatment. Rest is the most important and often most effective of those components. Take a couple of days off from running -- it may be all you need to heal your injury. Ice the area where you're feeling pain for 10-15 minutes every 3-4 hours. Compression limits swelling and can provide minor pain relief. You can wrap the affected area with an Ace bandage (you can do that to hold the ice pack on), but don't make it too tight. Elevate the injured body part -- you can prop it up on pillows while you're resting and icing.

3. Have a supply of injury prevention tools.

Having tools at your fingertips means you're more likely to use them. Make sure you have an ice pack in the freezer for after your runs. If you're feeling pain on the bottom of your foot, freeze a water bottle and roll your foot on top of it.

4. Be aware that injuries are caused.

Running injuries don't just happen on their own -- there's always a cause. If you can figure out why you're experiencing pain and treat the cause, not just the symptoms, you can prevent the injury from coming back.

5. Remember that being injury-free is more important than getting your miles done.

Don't push through a hard workout if you're feeling pain because you think missing a workout means you won't reach your race goal. And don't try to get your weekly mileage done no matter what. I always like to tell runners I coach, "You can't get to the finish line if you don't get to the starting line." Resting when an injury is in its early stages will prevent more time off later. If you push through it, the injury will most likely get worse.

6. Incorporate strength-training into your routine.

Core  exercises are particularly important when it comes to preventing injuries. Many running injuries, especially knee and hip-related problems, develop because of muscle weaknesses or imbalances.

7. Get help from the professionals.

A doctor or a podiatrist.

WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.