We were all beginning runners once. There is no shame it that! Congrats on deciding to start running!
Don’t know where to start and how to train without injuring yourself? Have no fear, these tips can help you avoid common beginner injuries when starting a new running routine. Some I have experienced myself and some I have seen clients and friends experience or practice. But all these tips have a place in new and experienced runners fitness regimens.
6 Ways to Avoid Injury for New Runners
Start Slow. It’s tempting to go out on day one and try to bust out three miles. Be honest with yourself, this is unrealistic and likely to cause injury. Slowly build up from 1/2 mile to a mile and so on. Soon you’ll be running three miles without thinking about it.
Get proper shoes. Yes, I know that what your shoes look like is important. However, it is more important to have shoes that fit your foot’s natural stride. Whether you get a shoe for a neutral foot, pronation, or supination, it’s important to invest in quality footwear.
Foam Roll. Massage is key to releasing tight muscles and knots from activity. It also feels amazing and can help you return to exercise sooner. Foam rolling allows you to roll out tight muscles at home and is considerably cheaper than receiving a weekly or daily professional massage (I so wish I could!). You can easily get a foam roller from $25 – $45 dollars at any sporting goods store.
Run on soft surfaces. Start running on a track or treadmill, rather than straight cement or concrete. This will help ease your muscles and joints into the activity. These surfaces provide more cushion for you as you learn your stride and introduce your body to rigorous exercise.
Ice sore muscles. Professional athletes take ice baths after hard activity. While you don’t have to go to this extreme, yet, icing sore and achy muscles can help speed recovery. Brands like Dr. Cool can provide you with ice wraps that easily fit around muscles like knees and ankles.
Add plyometric and lateral exercises to your routine. Strengthening all the muscles around your joints can help prevent injury. When running, you mainly focus on a forward and backward movement. In order to engage all your muscle fibers, add lateral movement drills and plyometric exercises to your routine. These can help you remain strong on the run and improve your speed. Some drills might include:
- Side to side hops
- Box jumps
- Lateral lunges
- Lunge jumps
Welcome to the Running Community
No matter what your level, I’m glad you’ve decided to join the running community and take a step towards increased health and wellness. These are a just a few tips on how to stay injury free. Have you heard of any others? I’d love to hear them. Share them with me in the comments!