Running a 5K or marathon is very exciting. It takes weeks or months to fully prepare to run a long distance. Whether you are an avid runner or just starting your fist race, there is a lot of work and preparation that goes into running a full 5K, 10K, or marathon. You have to prepare your whole body. Runners need to prepare their body for the length of the race, the environment, and the course. We see running injuries in our office everyday.
Common Running Injuries:
- Stress Fractures
- Runner's Knee
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Ankle Sprains
Start a Training Program
Without proper training and preparing, you could face a number of foot and ankle injuries. The worst part of an injury for a runner is the fact they will often have to stop running. Even worse, they could be limited even in walking if the injury is severe enough. People preparing for their first race should spend time researching a guide to running their first race. This could outline goals to accomplish each week, such as running a half mile your first week, two the next and so on.
Prepare for the Terrain
In addition, runners should research the course. Each terrain is very different. If all you run on is smooth asphalt and your upcoming race is a rocky path in the woods, you will be at a great disadvantage and risk of injury. You should train on the path you will be running if possible. Your running shoes should even change to reflect the course and terrain.
Learn How to Stretch
Learn how to stretch. Many people think they know how to stretch, however, everyday stretches are very different than the stretches you should be doing before a race. Even worse, you could injure yourself by doing the wring stretches. Learn how to really stretch before a race so you can perform your best and avoid serious injuries.
Get the Best Running Shoes
Running shoes are your running equipment. Some sports require cleats, helmets or shin guards to play to your full potential...running requires proper shoes. Your running shoes can either help you succeed or help you fail. Your shoes will be your best defense to preventing injuries.
- Get measured by a professional
- Get shoes to match your course
- Get measured in the afternoon
- Bring your orthotics with you to get fitted
- Change your shoes (at least) every 6 months
When Should You See A Doctor
Even after you prepare, train, and research- you could suffer an injury. A simple trip and fall could lead to a sprained ankle. If you suffered an injury while on a race, don't push yourself! If it hurts, stop racing and start RICE'ing. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. If you cannot stand on it or put pressure, you should see a doctor immediately. If you take it easy and it still hurts or gets worse, you should see a doctor. Don't try to "walk it off". If you have an injury and try to walk through the pain you could injure yourself even more requiring a longer, more painful recovery.