Top injury prevention tips from running coaches

Running is a simple and natural form of exercise that can be very good for your overall health and cardiac fitness. As well as feeling toned and fitter, regular running can help you feel happier and more energetic.

As with any sport or activity, injuries are an unfortunate risk. Luckily there are some ways to prevent running injuries. Whether you are a seasoned runner or new to the sport, there are some tips you can follow, as recommended by professional running coaches. You can follow these tips alone or you might consider employing a remote personal trainer for running who can help you to approach it safely.

Wear the right shoes

Whether you are entering a strict sprinter training program or simply looking to increase your fitness, it’s important to get the right shoes. Good running shoes will have strong arch support to help lessen the stress on your feet, ankles and legs. It’s best to go to a running store and get your feet measured and assessed to make sure you select shoes that fit you, your feet, your stride and the type of training you do.

Stretch and start slowly

It’s important that you warm up and do some active stretches before each running session. Your muscles need time to warm up and release tension before you start more strenuous exercise. If you are new to running, or returning after some time off, you should start slowly. For example, you could alternate short periods of running with longer periods of walking and gradually increase the time spent running. Some runners choose to employ a personal running coach to help them set and reach realistic goals, especially if they are training for a specific event.

Choose your surface carefully

Running on a suitable surface will help prevent injuries. Concrete is not recommended, being very hard and causing stress on your joints. Running coaches recommend that you run on a specially made surface such as a running track, or grass or an off-road dirt track.

Remember your RICE

RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you sustain a running injury, these steps will also help your body heal and help prevent recurring injuries to the affected area. All four steps are important in the healing process. If you are returning after an injury, it’s important you restart slowly, stretch properly, and make sure you wear good shoes that fit your feet and your stride.

Know Your Limits

Listen to your body. Injuries rarely happen in an instant. Be mindful of any pains or niggles – they may be early warning signs that your body is struggling. It can be tempting to push on and try to run further and faster, but this can damage you in the long term. Respect your body’s limits and it is more likely to adjust to your running schedule in a healthy, sustainable way. You might find a remote personal running coach to be valuable in helping you work within your limits.

Running can be a very healthy and rewarding activity. If you follow these tips and advice, you will continue running safely and happily for a long time to come.