You’ve probably heard something like this before — if you run long enough, you’re bound to get injured. But while injuries in a sport like running often seem inevitable, the truth is, most running injuries can be avoided by adhering to a few tried-and-true principles.
Recently we spoke with Jacob Puzey, running coach at Peak Run Performance, for his advice on which running principles to follow to have fun and stay injury-free.
1 DON’T DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON
Every person starts a running routine at a different level of fitness. What your body can tolerate varies. If you go beyond this, injury is more likely, so you need to learn to let your body adapt to the activity over time. While this can be frustrating for runners with lofty goals, it’s part of the process.
“Fitness gains are made through incremental adaptation to stress, so I recommend a very gradual increase with adequate rest,” says Puzey. “The standard rule of thumb is no more than a 10% increase in total weekly run volume. There are exceptions to this rule if you’re an experienced runner, but this is a good place to start for most.”
Related Post : Best 13 Ways to Increase Your Running Stamina
2 LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Runners often get used to pushing past discomfort because it’s part of the sport. “Discomfort can be described as soreness or fatigue, but can be addressed and reduced through adequate recovery, stretching, foam rolling, massage and a proper warmup,” says Puzey.
Pain that is ever-present or gets worse rather than better should be treated with rest and possibly a visit to a medical professional. “Unfortunately, ignoring warning signs and not recognizing the difference between discomfort during hard workouts and actual pain is a problem that increases the potential for injury,” he says.
3 DON’T COPY THE PROS
A lot of times, we look to the pros for answers, mimicking their smooth running stride, and changing our technique in hopes of becoming less injury-prone and more efficient. “I recommend finding ways to increase running economy by varying intensity and focusing on form cues such as trying to have your feet land under your hips,” he says.