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Run Smarter To Run Safer

Although not a high-contact sport, running contributes to its fair share of injuries across the country every year, especially among new runners whose bodies aren’t yet used to the strain that they’ll be put through.  Running injuries can spring up at a moment’s notice or slowly develop over the course of weeks or months.  Thankfully, there are certain things that any runner can do to protect themselves, as evidenced by the advice on hand in a new report.

As with most sports, the key to avoiding more serious injury is to take it easy, advice that is particularly crucial if you’re just getting into running.  Instead of running every day, think about giving yourself a full day between each run (technically 48 hours).  That way, your body is given the chance to recover rather than being put through strenuous exercise that can contribute to fatigue and damage.

You should also be willing to take an adequate amount of rest while actually out on your run.  There’s no shame in walking when you feel extremely winded or sore.  Taking the time to catch your breath isn’t an admission of weakness as some might look on it as; it’s a great way to improve your body’s ability and protect you for longer runs.

Longer runs are exactly what you’ll want to go for, even if long stretches of jogging are interspersed with bursts of walking.  You will be more proud of yourself if you run a longer distance at a slower pace than a short distance at a fast pace.  Your body is able to more easily adjust to this type of gait, whereas if you run a lot faster, you get winded and your body responds with soreness and fatigue.

The truth is, the faster you go, the greater the risk, with sprints potentially contributing to the greatest number of injuries.  While that’s not to say that you should avoid speed runs entirely, you have to approach them in the right mindset.  Give yourself time to rest between each dash.  Stretching always becomes particularly important when you’re pushing your body in this way.  Stretching, warming up, and cooling down are essential to giving your body enough time to react to the intensity of the workout.  Also be sure that you’ve scoped out the area you’re running for any potential obstacles.

When you are injured, make sure you don’t push through.  All you’re going to do is make things worse.  Should you experience some type of tendon or muscle damage, stretching might in fact be the worst thing you could do.  Mild strain is acceptable, but intense discomfort is not, and you shouldn’t stretch your legs if they’re burning or you find it hard to walk.


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