5 WAYS TO AVOID IN­JURY

Runner's World (UK) - - Body-Mind -

1 AVOID TH­ESE PILLS

Last year the US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion is­sued stronger warn­ings about a class of an­tibi­otics – flu­o­ro­quinolones – linked to a risk of ten­don tears. ‘Flu­o­ro­quinolones af­fect pro­teins that reg­u­late tis­sue re­pair – and can be di­rectly toxic to tis­sue,’ says Dr Su­san Joy, di­rec­tor of Com­mu­nity Sports Health Net­work at the Cleve­land Clinic, US. Ask your doc­tor about safe al­ter­na­tives, in­clud­ing peni­cillin.

2 BUY A SEC­OND PAIR

A Scan­di­na­vian study re­ports that run­ners can lower their in­jury risk by ro­tat­ing be­tween two or more pairs of shoes. ‘Chang­ing footwear al­ters your run­ning pat­tern and varies the forces on your legs,’ says study author Lau­rent Mal­isoux. Wear a more sup­port­ive, cush­ioned shoe for dis­tance runs and a lighter, flex­i­ble shoe for speed­work. Bonus points for pick­ing up a third: ‘The more shoes in your ro­ta­tion, the bet­ter,’ he says.

3 GET IRON

‘Iron is es­sen­tial for shut­tling oxy­gen to mus­cles,’ says Con­nie Diek­man of Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity in St Louis, US. Hav­ing low lev­els can hurt your mus­cles’ abil­ity to re­pair them­selves. Women need 14.8mg per day; men need 8.7mg. Iron-rich foods in­clude lean red meat, fish, dark poul­try and beans). If you ex­pe­ri­ence on­go­ing fa­tigue or a sud­den de­crease in per­for­mance, ask your doc­tor to check your stored iron lev­els.

4 DRINK UP

Tak­ing a few swigs of wa­ter be­fore a sum­mer run is a no-brainer, since de­hy­dra­tion can in­crease your risk of heat-re­lated ill­nesses. But flu­ids are es­sen­tial for all phys­i­cal re­ac­tions – in­clud­ing mus­cle func­tion­ing and joint cush­ion­ing, says nu­tri­tion­ist Marni Sum­bal. Women should take in 2.6 litres of fluid per day and men should get 3.5 litres, which can come from wa­ter, sports drinks and wa­ter-rich fruits and veg­gies.

5 FLIP-FLOPS FLOP

If you’re prone to plan­tar fasci­itis or Achilles ten­dini­tis, don’t spend your sum­mer in flipflops, says sports po­di­a­trist Stephen Pribut. They of­fer no arch sup­port and hav­ing to clench your toes to hold your foot in place can cause Achilles ten­dini­tis. But most wor­ri­some: ‘The re­peated rise of your heel off the back of the flip-flop can al­ter your gait when you walk – and pos­si­bly when you run,’ says Pribut. Try san­dals with a moulded arch.

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