I was asked to do a post on how to stay injury free and honestly at first, I was a bit hesitant to write this. Though I’ve been injury free for about 6 months now, I don’t really have the greatest track record at all. Sometimes I don’t even follow my own advice. (That is just real talk here). But here are some things I’ve been doing to stay injury free.
First and foremost, if I feel any sort of niggle or weird pain…I have learned to stop running. I kind of follow this rough outline:
First, I cut out any sort of speed workouts and cut my miles. Second, if it doesn’t go away within a day or two, I don’t run for two days. Stress fractures don’t come about overnight and feeling something weird and not running for a few days is MUCH BETTER than not running for 3 months. Trust me-I know.
Stretching is good…I don’t do enough of it.
Foam rolling and message sticking…also good and also what I don’t do enough of. I am really trying to push myself to do this when I’m not lazy.
Running on softer surfaces and not just because I’m training for cross country races. Pavement is not always good for your body (if you are running a lot of miles). I say the more you can run on grass, the better. Trust me, I also know it takes a lot of getting used too. I love running on pavement as well.
Replace your shoes. Don’t try and save money by getting too many miles on them. It costs a hell of a lot of money from your insurance or out of pocket to get 3 X-rays and 2 MRI’s. With replacing your shoes, running with different shoes. Running in different types of shoes (granted they all work for YOUR SPECIAL running form, is great to keep your legs not used to one routine.
The most important (to me anyways) is that you are not racing anyone in your training so stop that. Stop pushing the pace to recover. It’s unnecessary. Run your easy runs at a slower then normal pace because you are doing yourself any good by running your easy runs faster. In fact, you are saying “hey body, let’s get injured today”. I would know. It’s the main reason I got a stress fracture (and ripped It band…all in one swipe).
So yes-that is my two cents.
Question for you: How do you stay injury free?
Great advice, injuries are never fun and stopping sooner than later always helps
I like your tips :). And I think it’s cool that you posted a pic of your Newton’s, you’re the first person I know to wear them and now they’re getting pretty popular here (another girl in our run group has that pair). Definitely important to take a few days off when you need it to avoid having to take weeks or months off later!
excellent advice! Um so I never used to follow any of that (totally thought I was too good for recovery runs, yeah not proud of that lol)….and yeah well we all know the rest hah. I have to agree most about the pavement thing too, at my college I ran pretty much only trails – maybe a mile on the pavement from my dorm to the trail and back and that was it – and really never got hurt. Then every time I’d come home from break and run all pavement, my shins would be like “fuck you!” lol. ALSO – I’ve wanted to try Newton’s for a really long time! do you think you could do a review type thing on them? or could I email you about them or something? What I’ve currently got isn’t really working for me so I’m curious to know more about these!
I think I have done a review somewhere in my archives but you can email me if you’d like at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve be more then happy to chat about them 🙂
Great advice! Such necessary things that are so hard to do sometimes!!
Guilty as charged on all counts. I’ve been a mess with injuries, but after a LONG stint of not running, minimum mileage and the massive 4 month speed work ban…I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON! You’ve got a great game plan for avoiding injury there and I tend to be the same way. Just two weeks ago I was at the gym running and biking and just left when my knee started twinging. It was hard, but the right thing to do. But you did forget one really important step in resting – fro yo.
Gah. How on Earth could I forget about Froyo?!
It’s the most important part of recovering from injury – to sulk or curb injury induced anger!
Enough SLEEP. Nutrition. and like you said – recovery runs are meant to be slow so you can freaking rock your speed workouts.
My coach is one of the few that is not a fan of yoga/deep stretching. She had me stop all of the p90X yoga and extra classes I had been taking and that (combined with those listed above) has lead me to an injury free streak. 🙂
Great tips! I’ve never been too bad with injuries, but my knees are my worst enemies! pavement and new shoes can definitely help with that though!
I love the pirate photo! I do a lot of foam rolling to help keep any muscular/IT band injuries at bay. Replacing your shoes is a good tip. I try to squeeze a few extra miles out of them to save money, but that might not be such a good idea.
Awesome advice! I am really trying to ice and foam roll and stretch more because it does help. I am really good about replacing shoes (my hubby thinks I buy shoes way too much but he can deal, lol). Love your dress! Have a great weekend. 🙂
I never follow my own advice. I need to stretch and roll, but do I? Hah. No. I don’t know why. I ice though and sometimes sleep with a heating pad just for safe measures.
I think sleep is the most important. I know without sleep, I can never perform well.
I love that you straight up say “i don;t always take my own advice” haha I feel like that’s me when people ask for diet advice.
I stay injury free by… stretching! I actually do it daily after cardio for at least 5 minutes, if not my bum hip is hating me shortly after!
YES love this post!! I’ve made all these mistakes too, and running truly easy when I need to has probably been the hardest lesson to learn, but SO important!! I agree about the softer surfaces too, that really helped with my shin splints 🙂
These tips are all perfect, especially the last one. I forget that I am not “racing” during my causal or training runs and always want to beat my best time. I have recently stopped doing that and the runs are becoming more enjoyable.
You are very wise on the injury-front… I know it stinks that you are wise from experience, but you’re a better runner for it in the end!
These are all really great tips! I have to get better at replacing my shoes. I always get attached to my shoes and never want to get new ones! 🙂
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