5 Tips to Avoid Running Injuries

By Angela Campos

We’ve all heard people say “running is bad for your knees," which has proven not to be true. However, running can still get a bad rap because  of the frequency that runners tend to get injured. I know from personal experience that it is miserable to be sidelined with an injury. Running is  my favorite way to stay physically and mentally fit, so today I am sharing five tips to avoid running injuries.

Stay Flexible

Stretching before and after a run is very important. Another great way to maintain flexibility is by doing yoga a few times per week. If you do not  have time to devote to an entire class, you can do some yoga poses at home for deep stretching after a run. Some of my favorites are: Pigeon  Pose, the Butterfly Stretch, and Seated Forward Fold.

Gradually Increase Mileage

A common mistake runners make is increasing mileage too quickly. A good rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by ten percent each week or add a mile on to your longest run each week.

Strength Training

Strength training is key to avoiding injury. Many runners love the cardiovascular benefits that running provides, but struggle to get to the gym to  build their muscles. Strong glutes and thighs are essential to maintaining proper form. Some great exercises that can be done at home with  weights are: Dead Lifts and Squats.

Proper Running Shoes

Investing in a good pair of running shoes is one of the first things a person should do when they begin running. Local running stores are a great  resource and will often help to ensure individuals are fitted with the proper running shoes for their gait and foot structure. My favorite running  shoes are the Mizuno Wave Riders.

Rest Days and Cross-Training

Everyone needs to take at least one rest day per week to let muscles heal and rebuild. Cross-training provides many benefits that will enhance  running performance and reduce rates of injury as well. For example, swimming is a great form of cross-training as it is low impact on joints and  can be a great recovery for the legs after a hard run.

About the Author: Angela is a mom of two, wife, registered  nurse, runner, Ironman triathlete, and  cooking enthusiast. She shares her tales of training for various  endurance events, inspirations and motivation, and some of her favorite recipes. Follow her blog: Marathons and Motivation.