Did you know that 37-80% of runners get injured every single year? Lower your risk by trying any or all of these guidelines.
1. Strength Train. Build your muscles capacity by lifting weights that target the muscles you need to run well. Focus on your calf muscles (especially your soleus), quads, gluteus medius and hamstrings. Aim for 45-60 minutes 2x/week. Choose the correct weight and rep scheme that pushes you to fatigue.
2. Do Plyometrics. Prep your body's natural springs (aka tendons) with some energy storage and release drills like THIS one. Plyometrics are basically jumping drills. Most athletes of jumping sports are familiar with plyometrics and understand the importance of them. Running is a very plyometric sport as we are continuously jumping from one leg to the next. Our tendons are the tissues that store and release this energy helping us propel forward. Preparing them to do so will not only keep you running efficiently, it will prevent painful tendinopathies from occurring. Expert tip: mimic your run by jumping to the beat of 150-170 bpm using a metronome app.
3. Start & End Your Runs with a Brisk Walk. Take 5-10 minutes to gradually increase and decrease your body’s circulation and heart rate. Bonus: Add these 3 SLOW marching drills (holding every 3 seconds) while doing your walking warm-up.
Knee to Chest Pulls - Walk forward as you use both your hands to pull one knee into your chest. Maintain an upright position.
Overhead Reaches - Walk forward and march slowly lifting one knee up as high as you can while reaching your opposite hand overhead. Hold this position for 3 seconds then switch sides.
Foot to Butt Pulls - Walk forward as you pull your heel to your butt using your opposite hand. Maintain an upright position as you reach your other hand overhead.
4. Be Smart with Your Shoe Selection. Choose shoes that are right for you. Click HERE to learn more about how to do this.
5. Don’t do TOO Much TOO Soon TOO Fast. This is by far the most important guideline to follow as this is almost always the reason I hear from my clients that they suffered from an injury. If you take on a new training plan or decide to try a new track workout or take on a tough hill workout, you are susceptible to an injury. As runners (especially those of us over 40), we need to prepare our bodies for the task at hand. It takes A LOT of coordination from a variety of body systems and muscle capacity to meet these challenging demands. Here’s the secret: Be faithful with the previous 4 guidelines and your body won’t be so shocked when you do try something new.