I'm a runner in high school and I was wondering how you prevent injuries while running? Is it better to weigh less or more? how do you cross train and do you ever take long breaks from running? Do you do weightlifting or anything like that and do you have any tips in general about running?
Great questions! I have been injured far too many times in my running career than I would like to admit, but I have had some long bursts of injury free seasons in college!
-first.. do the little things that ever one forgets about!! Weight lifting is cool and all but strengthening the little muscles you can target with just body exercises are more beneficial. I’m a big fan of body weight exercises and maybe medicine balls, bands, and dumbbells.
-core is so so important. Not just for abs but for the back and sides. It saves your form during races and can really make a difference.
-your race weight is probably whatever what your body is happy at while feeling fueled and energized. Eat the veggies but also eat the cookies! Balance is so important and as runners we truly don’t need to be second guessing calories in food as long as we are eat REAL foods full of nutrients that will fuel our bodies.
-STRETCH. Sitting on the couch? Stretch. Brushing your teeth? Stretch. Invest in a rope and do some rope stretching. stretch before runs AND after. The more flexible and limber your body is the less likely you will be injured.
-Roll out religiously. Yes it is painful but make your foam roller your new bff.
-Rest days are important. If you feel a pain coming on please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don’t think running through it is a good idea until it goes away. Take a day or two off and baby it. Something that is very minor could turn into something major if you don’t pamper it. One or two days off WILL NOT RUIN YOUR TRAINING. Being sidelined for the whole season with a torn muscle or stress fracture will. Don’t try to be invincible, we get banged up and you are not a weak runner if you need to take a day off.
-cross training is important. I make sure to hit the pool after my night workouts during xc. I aqua jog for around 20-30 mins immediately after a workout to help recovery. I bike a lot on my campus so I count that too haha.
-complete rest days or cross train? I think you need to know your body and what it’s asking for. If you need a complete rest day of sitting on the couch unactive DO IT.
RUN HARD REST HARD BABY THATS THE MOTTO.
Hope this helped, best wishes to injury free runnin’!!!