Nobody wants to get injured, but it happens. Beyond the physical pain and suffering, having an injury impacts every facet of your life — your sleep, how much you can eat, what other kinds of workouts you can do (if any), even your social life (maybe all your friends are runners).
Since we’re not going to stop running anytime soon, we’ve rounded up several MapMyRun stories filled with strategies to prevent common injuries, minimize their impact or duration and (maybe) even recover faster. Happy running!
IF YOU ALREADY HAVE SPECIFIC ACHES & PAINS
At some point in a runner’s life, one (or a few) of these injuries could flare up: Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, IT band syndrome and shin splints. This story describes where it hurts and why it might’ve happened (so you can avoid it next time).
The technical term for runner’s knee — considered the most common running injury — is patellofemoral pain syndrome. The list of injury-inducing culprits could occur above the knee, around the knee and below the knee — or all of the above. These 10 exercises help build stability and mobility in areas where runners tend to be weak.
If you’re a runner, you’re likely very familiar with ITBS — it’s like the Kevin Bacon of injuries. The iliotibial band runs from around your hip to around your knee, and pain usually shows up outside the knee. Prevention is the best medicine — and strengthening exercises are the way to go. (Note: Think twice before you foam roll.) We’ve got two words for you: clam shell.
If you’ve ever had pain or stiffness in your feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning, you’re probably familiar with this. The inflammation usually takes awhile to get under control, so it’s best to try to avoid it altogether — prevention starts with a few basic exercises and it might be helpful to pay attention to your foot strike.
Chances are if you’ve walked long distances or ran, likely in worn-out shoes, you’ve suffered from shin splints. The good news is that this is usually easy to fix with a solid gear swap, a solid workout plan and a few exercises that you can squeeze into your day.
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FINALLY, A FEW RUNNERLY POINTERS
Cadence, while maybe not the first thing to tackle for new runners, ultimately helps take tension off your joints (hello, knees).
When in doubt, foam roll. It’s best to roll before a run as part of your warmup — but before and after can’t hurt, either.
The times you went out for a run without foam rolling first and didn’t know what pigeon pose is are over starting now. Every responsible runner should make time before and after a run to get stronger and avoid injury.