One of the biggest reasons for running injuries is the “terrible too’s”. So many runners are so excited when they take on something new or have a new goal. This can apply to beginning runners who are just getting started or runners who have been running awhile and decide to take on a new challenge – such as training for a marathon or decided to get faster with their 10K time.
When a runner does too much too soon – injuries can occur. The general rule of thumb is to never add 10% to your weekly mileage from one week to the next. Also, don’t try to add mileage and increase speed at the same time. Too much intensity and too much mileage at the same time can really hurt you.
Another major cause of injury can be your running shoes. Running in shoes that are not made for your foot type can cause injury after a while. Make sure that you are going to a specialized running store and get fitted properly for your foot type. This will help you to run more comfortably, in addition to warding off injury.
Also, make sure that you are not putting too many miles on your running shoes. Depending on your size and running habits – shoes need to be replaced every 300-500 miles. After that – the supportive and cushioning material in your shoes will break down and your feet are not getting the protection that you need when you run. This can definitely lead to injury.
Running on concrete is a big culprit of running injuries. Avoid sidewalks if possible. Concrete is 10 times harder than asphalt and will definitely cause a shock for your legs. I run beside sidewalks instead of on them.
Make sure that you are stretching and working all your muscles. If you are having glitches in your knees – you may find yourself doing all the knee exercises that you can – but ignoring the other stretches that you do after your run. Or if you are nursing a sore ankle – you may be causing extra stress on part of your other leg. Make sure that you are strengthening all parts of your legs to keep balance.