Tips to avoid run­ning in­juries and en­sure a bet­ter stride

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH - RO­DALEWELL­NESS.COM

Why do you run? It’s a ques­tion that we hear of­ten. Is it be­cause it makes you hap­pier or more brave? Or per­haps it’s be­cause of the health ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing low­er­ing your risk for di­a­betes, can­cer, and heart dis­ease? What­ever your rea­son, there’s one thing we can as­sure you: Run­ning, like any other sweat style, is much, much bet­ter in­juryfree.

In his book Dr. Jor­dan Metzl’s “Run­ning Strong,” Metzl has the per­fect pre­scrip­tion for en­joy­ing your stride with­out sac­ri­fic­ing your well-be­ing. Here are eight must-fol­low rules for in­jury-free run­ning:

1. Train for your level of fit­ness and your goals. Don’t run more miles or harder miles than your body can han­dle. Not every run­ner needs a for­mal train­ing sched­ule. If you run for fit­ness and your goal is 30 min­utes a day, that’s cool, but if you are just start­ing out, you need to get there grad­u­ally.

2. Wear the right shoes for your feet and use in­serts if you need them. You will hear, if you haven’t al­ready, lots of opin­ions about whether run­ning shoes re­ally help pre­vent in­jury and whether you should even wear them. I’m in the camp that be­lieves the right run­ning shoes can help cor­rect foot-mo­tion is­sues that lead to in­jury, and that some of you may need a lit­tle added as­sis­tance from in­serts.

3. Foam-roll all your mus­cles every day. You have prob­a­bly seen them: high-den­sity foam cylin­ders about 6 inches in di­am­e­ter that gen­er­ally come in lengths of 18 or 36 inches. Get one. Get to know it. It will be your body’s best friend.

4. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Maybe 6 hours is all you need or 9 is your ideal. But be hon­est about how much sleep you need and stick to it. Don’t get all caught up in the puffery around the wa­ter cooler about how much ev­ery­one is do­ing on 5 hours of shut-eye. The cool run­ner is the one who wins the race and the pro­mo­tion. Sleep will get you there.

5. Fuel your body right for run­ning and re­cov­ery. A good pre-run meal plan is one that keeps you step­ping strong. And af­ter a work­out or race, you need to de­liver the right nu­tri­ents to all the mi­cro­scopic body re­builders in your mus­cles so they can do their job and get you back into tip-top shape for your run to­mor­row.

6. Make time (and a bud­get) for mas­sage twice a month. Your body will thank you. Reg­u­lar mas­sage is an in­vest­ment in healthy mus­cles, faster re­cov­ery, and post-work­out pain re­lief. Be­lieve me, it’s worth every penny.

7. Pay at­ten­tion to pain. I know run­ners. I have seen plenty of you as pa­tients. You don’t quit un­til you are hob­bling around like a lame horse. But by that time, your in­jury may have pro­gressed to the point of no re­turn to the road for weeks.

Here’s my rule: When pain changes the way you run, stop run­ning, fig­ure out what’s go­ing on, and treat it, and use dy­namic rest to stay in shape un­til you are back on your run­ning feet.

8. Have fun. Isn’t that why we do this?

"Run­ning Strong" by Dr. Jor­dan Metzl, Run­ner’s World, $24.99

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.