Do you ever ask yourself why do I keep getting injured as a runner? Or how can I run without getting injured?
I started the year strong with running goals and was ready to hit the ground running, literally and figuratively. Anyone else?
And then the reality of heading back to work and school happened. And I got in my runs, but I didn't do any of the other things that go with adding mileage. I didn't eat great. I didn't foam roll. I didn't stretch. I didn't warm-up before my runs. I didn't strength train. And I was feeling the weight of the world.
I questioned whether I should be back in the classroom. I questioned whether it was safe to send my young girls to school. I questioned whether our babysitter should come over for date nights. I was so stressed but denying it.
And I paid for it.
Within 10 days, I had a very minor ankle sprain and a pinched nerve in my upper back that completely immobilized my neck.
After a call with my PT and a trip to the chiro, I headed back to the road this weekend. But with a very different intention and plan for this week.
So how do you prevent running injuries?
I wanted to share the things I *usually* do to prevent injury while running and increasing mileage as I get back to them going forward (thanks for the reminder universe!).
Warm-up and cool down for runs: Don't get dressed and go run, but do some kind of warmup. I like 8 of the following on each leg: leg swings side to side, leg swings back and front, hamstring scoops, and walking lunges For a cool down, a very easy mile and a few minutes of walking and stretching is great!
Foam rolling: This is great as a warm-up, cool down, or anytime you're feeling sore and achy. It helps you figure out where tight spots are so you can work on them as well finding muscle imbalances to work on in my next tip...
Strength training: Running is great and does make you strong, but you have to be building muscles as well to prevent injury and improve economy. It doesn't have to be complicated--the simple movements of squat, hinge, push, and pull will get the job done. Fitness Blender, Tone It Up, and BeachBody all have awesome free workouts.
Eat to fuel: Fueling your body right is so important to performance. I notice a shift within a few days of increasing my water intake and adding more veggies to my life. I don't love veggies, so I sneak them into everything I can (superhero muffins anyone?). I aim for 75 oz of water and 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Which of these is hardest for you? Which is easiest?