Injuries from running can unfortunately be a common occurrence and affect anyone from beginners to experienced runners. An injury may occur from a variety of reasons: overtraining, biomechanical issues, weak or tired muscles, a fall etc. The most common injuries sustained by runners include: sprained and strained muscles, tendinitis, stress fractures, shin-splints, plantar fasciitis etc.
Runners suffering from an injury do not like to hear the main advice “Rest” especially when part way through a training program. However, taking time out from a training program will not make you lose too much fitness and may provide a better chance of getting onto the start line for the event being trained for. In many cases following this simple advice as part of the RICE process (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) for 7 to 10 days may resolve the issue. Seeking advice and support from a sports injury professional is always the best option to proceed with. There are good sports therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists and sports masseurs available to help; many of whom are runners themselves so understand your concerns.
Some simple measures that every runner should consider that may help prevent injuries include appropriate warm up, warm down, stretching and always gradually increase the training load. Attention must be paid to both hydration and nutrition needs. Ensure to wear suitable footwear, running shoes remain the most important equipment for runners, ensure they fit correctly, are appropriate for your gait and not worn out. Planning regular sports massage will prove to be beneficial to all runners.
Whatever your injury, always “listen to your body”. If you have sustained an injury or in pain, don’t run and seek professional advice. It may be that some form of cross training e.g. aqua-jogging could be recommended but take this advice from the experts to ensure you are back running at the soonest.
“Listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right, follow its advice and get the issue sorted out.” – Anonymous