You must love running as much as I do, but the truth is if you want to be an active runner for a long time, you need to learn about injury prevention. Injury prevention is when you use different techniques, including various stretches, proper exercise, and the exact amount of rest to prevent injuries.
Running is a great sport, but can also be hard on your body. You can get ahead of the problem and stop the injury before it starts. To have a better run, you should always start with a small warm up. This allows the body to warm up muscles so you don’t get hurt during a run. According to long-distance runner Jacob Bilvado from the Airforce Academy, the top ways to reduce running injuries is by having a pre-run regimen that includes a warm up jog and proper stretching.
Five Pre-Run Stretches to Prevent Injuries
1. Glute Stretch
Stand up straight with good posture and balance. Bring your ankle up toward your knee and waist. You should feel a stretch in the glute and lateral quad area.
2. Hamstring Stretch
Place one leg in front, keeping it straight and place your heel to the ground. Bend the back knee and bend toward the ground (like sitting in a chair). Sweep your arms to help feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
3. Ankle and Calf Stretch
Standing straight with good posture and feet together. Alternate by placing your foot on the ground with the toe and the ball of your foot first. Lower your weight through your foot toe to heel until it’s flat on the ground.
4. Abductor Leg Swings
Stand straight with good posture and feet together. Swing one leg across the front of your body from one side, crossing in front of the standing leg, and back. This motion should be controlled. Keep your hips and pelvic strong and aligned and do not rotate.
5. Hip Leg Swings
Stand tall with your head up and good pelvic alignment. Keep both legs straight. Swing one leg forward and backwards with your hands on your hip for balance. Do not lean forward with your body.
After your run you may be tired and want to just suddenly stop, but when your legs go from running to a complete stop, it can cause you to be sore later. To prevent this, you should consider a cool down. Good cool downs can consist of stretching the hamstrings, the calf muscles, and your legs. When you do a cool down, you allow your legs to slowly adjust from your run.
Bilvado shared that the most important things to focus on when you are trying to prevent an injury is always warm up, cool down, never over train, and listen to your body. If your body isn’t properly cared for, you may experience injuries. Therefore, it is key that a runner prevents injuries before they happen. As you become a more experienced runner, you must know your limits. If you love running as much as I do, then always listen to your body and take care of it to prevent injuries.