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?