I have thought about doing a post on injury prevention for a long time, but I have hesitated simply because I am afraid that as soon as I post this I am going to have an injury :).
I have been running for about 18 years and have been practically injury free. The only injury that I have dealt with was a small runners knee issue that I had during my training for my first marathon. I ended up taking 5 days off and doing a lot of strength training exercises and drills during that time and was then good as new :). Of course I have had my fair share of what I call “niggles” along the way, but I have always been able to take of them before they become an actual injury.
I started running competitively my junior year in high school and continued that through my senior year. By this point I was hooked. There is just something about running that I love. Not that I always love those first steps out the door, or that every run is an amazing run, but there is just something about it that keeps me coming back for more. You feel healthy, strong and this great sense of accomplishment no matter what speed or distance that you have gone. After high school I spent the next 10 years running because it was something I really enjoyed doing. I would run about 3-4 miles a day. I never wore a Garmin or even really cared about my pace. About 5 years ago I started running competitively again. I signed up for a marathon (because only someone as crazy as me would start off with a marathon!) and began adding more miles and working to improve my times.
Through my years of running there are a lot of little things that I have learned and done to keep myself from being injured. I know that there are a lot of other things that I could and should be doing, but I just do what I can when I can. I quite honestly probably do closer to the minimum of what I should do….but I am working on doing better with that. I don’t really struggle with getting a run in, but it is all the important extras that I struggle to fit in.
I think a lot of moms think like this….I definitely have at times…
Here are my tips:
1. Shoes!!! This is a big one. Make sure you get fitted for the right shoes. Go to a running store for this too.
2. I have 2 pairs of shoes that I rotate every day so that I never wear the same pair 2 days in a row. (actually running shoes are my favorite thing and so I have more than 2 pairs that I rotate, but all you need are 2).
3. Also, unless you can tell by feel, keep track of the miles on your shoes. Most say 300-500 miles for a pair of running shoes. It really depends on the shoe and the person, but that gives you an idea.
4. Before all of my runs I will at least do a little dynamic stretching. I usually do legs swings side to side and front to back. I usually do 15 for each leg. I also do bird dog stretches 15 on each leg.
5. Running drills are super important for form and strength. I would like to say that I do them 2x a week. Realistically it is 1 time a week and sometimes I will throw in one or two of them at the end of a run throughout the week.
– High Knees
– Backwards run
– Box Jumps- These are so hard for me!!! I am actually kind of scared of them
– Side to side jumps on one leg
– Butt kicks
The Cheapest and Easiest Piece of Equipment & The Core:
– Elastic bands are GREAT for some easy resistance training. They are cheap and you can do it just about anywhere. I will usually do a monster walk with an elastic band around my ankles and just a straight line side-to-side walk the same way. I will also sometimes put the band around my ankles hold onto something for balance and then move one leg out and back in 10 times and switch.
-The core is super important to keep strong. Planks pretty much covers this for me. I try to do several planks about every other day (I would love to say I do them everyday, but my nose would grow).
– Push ups are a very good idea too and I do them in spurts.
Some Other Things That Help:
– Diet. This is pretty much a no brainer, but make sure you are getting enough and enough of the right stuff. Your body needs to be properly fueled to perform.
– Get enough sleep
– Recover right. All runners are different here. I personally need to take 1 day off a week. I think if I pushed and tried to 7 days I could manage for a while, but it would lead to an injury.
– If I feel like something is off I will re-evaluate and do extra strength and stretching. If that does not seem to be working I will give myself a day off and that usually does the trick.
So, this is it. Basically this is what I have done and has worked for me. What works for one person may not work for another because we are all built differently, but this is what I do.
Now onto BIG news!!!!!!!
He is in! My husband is running a 50k trail race on Feb. 28th! They take 120 runners and he was number 120 to get in!!! Can you believe it!!!! 🙂 I am pretty excited. I can’t wait to go cheer him on! If you have ever done a trail race or do a lot of trail running and have any tips or must have gear that he needs fill me in!
How was your weekend?
Anyone get snow?
Trail runners out there…what is your essential gear?