Running is one of those great cardio exercises that helps get your heart rate up, burn calories, increase your fitness level, and keep you energized. All you need is a good pair of runners.
To maintain a good running routine, focus on injury prevention rather than cures. Today I’m sharing some of my top tips for preventing injuries while running, including four exercises that will help prevent injuries and keep your body strong.
Injuries can occur for so many reasons. The obvious is a fall or stumble, muscle strain, weak muscles pulling against tight muscles, wear and tear, lack of exercise, and improper or not warming up or cooling down muscles.
First, if you are new to running, getting a gait analysis and buying a really good pair of runners that match your gait can really help you on your running journey. Gait analysis looks at your biomechanics, which in turn affects your mobility, flexibility and stability.
With gait analysis, you can see where your joints may not be getting enough support, so you can choose a pair of runners that suit your needs. This helps prevent injuries. There are specific running shops that will do this for you. Experienced runners should stick to what works for them. But if you have doubts or find that you frequently injure yourself, then it is worth having a gait analysis done.
If you haven’t already, warming up is crucial. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including dynamic stretching and/or a slow warm-up – walking to a run before full throttle.
Next, you should incorporate some strength training into your week. Keeping muscles strong should be everyone’s priority. Strong muscles, most importantly, keep joints supported along with so many other benefits. As we age, we need to protect the joints as much as possible.
You’ll see in the exercises that I’ve included some plyometric exercises. This adds a little jumping motion to the exercises. It basically shocks the muscle and makes it work harder. This helps runners keep the muscle strong and flexible. It’s so easy to trip or step over uneven pavement when running outdoors and this helps with stability, core strength and muscle response to any incident. If possible, aim for two sessions of strength training per week.
Exercises to prevent injuries and improve time
Start on your toes and hands with your arms straight and your feet together.
Then, without changing hand position, jump your feet to the side. Immediately jump back to center and repeat. Keep your back flat during this exercise. Repeat 12-15 times.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your arms at your sides.
Bend your hips and knees into a semi-squat position and lean your torso slightly forward. Then just push off your feet, jump straight into the air, and land in a half-crouch position. Repeat 12-15 times.
Start upright with your hands at your sides. Bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Extend your hands outward until you are in a plank position.
Bring one knee into a climber, then back and repeat on the other side. When your feet are back in the neutral position, step your hands back until you return to the starting position. Repeat 12-15 times on each side.
Start in a squat with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on either side of your head. Squat down, making sure your knees don’t go past your toes.
As you come up, apply more pressure on one leg while lifting the opposite leg to the side until you return to the starting squat position. Repeat the same movement on the opposite leg on the next squat.
Repeat 12-15 times on each side.
We recommend that you seek medical advice before embarking on this great adventure. The women’s Vhi Mini-Marathon takes place on Sunday 5th June.
Register at vhiwomensminimarathon.ie
https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/health-features/run-faster-and-avoid-injury-with-siobhan-byrnes-strength-training-for-runners-41411407.html Run faster and avoid injuries with Siobhan Byrne’s Strength Training for Runners