Running Tips Injury Prevention II
By Drew Heideman MPT, ATC, PES
Running Tips: Injury Prevention II
Orthotics – Orthotics are custom-made biomechanical inserts that are placed in a shoe to either support or cushion the arch to decrease forces up the lower extremity. There are several types that are appropriate for different types of feet and people and your JOI Therapist can help you select the orthotic that is right for you.
Don’t Forget the Core – Strengthening exercises should include the hips, gluteals, abdominals and back….not just the legs. Integrate total body strengthening into your program 2-3 times per week.
Lateral Movements – Running is a very linear sport and many of the injuries that we see in the rehab clinic are due to lack of control and strength with side-to-side movements. Strengthen up the outer hips by cross training with sports that require changes in direction like basketball, soccer or tennis. Your JOI Therapist can give you a more specific strengthening program to target your needs.
Ice – The benefits of icing an injured area are well known, but do you know how long you should be icing for? A bag of ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes, while gel packs should be applied for 10-15 minutes as they tend to stay much colder. Ice cups are also a useful way to ice an injured area and they should be used for only 5-10 minutes.
Running Tips: Injury Prevention II (continued)
Race Day Preparation– The morning of the race your meal should be high in complex carbohydrates and low in fiber and fat. It should be consumed about two to three hours prior to your race, so make sure you get up early. Make sure to you start the race hydrated by consuming 16-24 ounces of water or sports drink 2 hours before the event.
Surfaces – Consider the surface that you are running on for your training. Opt for more forgiving surfaces such as a smooth dirt path, a rubberized track, or grass when available. Running on concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads increase forces on the joints, while running on loose sand or rugged trails increases you potential for a more traumatic injury.
Tapering- The week leading up to your race day should slowly decrease in volume. Your longest training run should be at least 7 days before the big event. The week of the race, training runs should be shorter in duration and target you racing pace. The fitness you have gained through consistent training will not diminish by resting more the days leading up to the race.
Skin Care – Take care of your body’s largest organ, the skin. Make sure that areas of high friction like the heels, nipples, and inner thighs are protected. Several companies make skin lubricants specifically for runners to protect against blisters and chaffing.
Want to learn more about orthopedics? Check out our Youtube Channel! Related Article: Best Shoes for Running
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