Top 10 Injury-Free Running Tips

Running in the Cityby Maren Sederquist, MES, CSCS, PES, CPT

It’s important to stay injury-free if you want to keep running. These tips will help your odds of staying on your feet!

1. Don’t do too much too soon! Follow the 10% rule. Never increase your mileage or time by more than 10% per WEEK. Pay attention to how much an additional day can add to your week’s total. Consistent training over the long haul is what’s important, not how quick you reach your goal.

2. Run on a surface that is as soft as possible, without being uneven. Trails of hard packed dirt are the best. Newer synthetic tracks are good too. Stay away from sidewalks, and run in the softer asphalt street if you don’t have dirt or a track available. Grass can be good if it’s cut low and doesn’t hide divots you could turn your ankles on.

3. If you run on the street, spend equal time on each side of the road, so your body isn’t subjected to just one direction of camber. If you run on the track, switch directions.

4. Change your running shoes every 750 miles. Even if they still look good, they lose their shock absorption by then.

5. Don’t run two days in a row. Cross train on alternate days to work your muscles in a different way.

6. Strength train to keep muscle imbalances at bay.

7. Stretch tight muscles after you’ve warmed up, and after your run.

8. Warm up and cool down. Make sure your first and last 10 minutes are lower intensity to ease your muscles and heart in and out of your workout.

9. Add variety to your training. Incorporate intervals, fartleks, hill work and long slow distance days, as well as recovery and rest days.

10. Know when to rest and avoid overtraining. Pay attention to pain rather than running through an injury. Pay attention to fatigue signals your body gives you when you’re tired.