No matter how seasoned runner you are, if you follow a faulty training program, you will be injured. Your body is designed to adapt to physical stress in small doses but when you push your body to a high amount of physical stress, your body can’t handle and will lead to injury. You need to train intelligently to prevent injuries. If you are still wondering how to prevent running injuries, here are a few expert tips to prevent running injuries.
1. Increase your mileage slowly.
Your weekly mileage (i.e. how many kilometers you run a week) has a huge impact on your injury risk. If you’ve just started running, increase your mileage slowly over the week and stick to it till your body adapts to it. The slower you increase your mileage, the less chance you’ll get injured.
2. Train S.M.A.R.T.
You can get the most out of your running while subjecting your body to the least amount of physical stress if you train S.M.A.R.T. SMART stands for
- Specific: Be clear and precise with your goals in performance terms. E.g.: lose 5 kg in a month, or to complete my first 10k run in the next 3 months
- Measurable: Define goals that are easy to define as a success or a failure.
- Achievable: Set goals that are realistic and attainable.
- Relevant: Find goals that motivate you. Don’t give in to peer pressure and what everyone is doing.
- Time-bound: Set an end time to each goal that you set.
We will be writing soon on the SMART goals formula to help you succeed. For now, follow a systematic and smart training plan so that your running sessions are safe and effective. So, to prevent running injuries, train smart!
3. Never increase your intensity and mileage at the same time.
When you start running, the adrenaline rush may be overwhelming and you may increase your intensity and mileage at the same time. This is one of the major causes of running injuries. The extra mileage and extra intensity you add to your running session puts more stress on your legs than it can handle. So, try to concentrate either on intensity or mileage at a time to prevent running injuries.
4. Reduce your long runs.
Long runs are good to increase your intensity but you need to remember not to make the long run so long! Your long runs are good as long as they are about a third of your weekly mileage. If you run 30 km per week you should restrict your long run to 10 km. So, if you want to prevent running injuries reduce your long runs.
5. Listen to your body.
You need to run easy on your easy days. You will not have the same energy and the same enthusiasm you had in your first day on all days. Running regularly is good, but you need to rest when your body asks for it. Take a rest day after 6 days of running. This way you can prevent running injuries. Running can take a heavy toll on your body if not done properly. So, whether you are a beginner or pro, keep these 5 tips in mind to prevent running injuries. If you are a beginner, read our article on running tips for beginners.