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Back in October 2016 I started this brand new journey into long distance running. You can read about my 5k journey in another blog post. I am currently training for my first ultra marathon. And I get asked a lot from clients and fellow long distance runners. How to I prevent injury. As of today, I haven’t had and injury that has prevented me from running. And for the most part I am pain free before and after a run. So here are my professional tips on injury prevention.
I have a very regular self care routine just so I can keep performing well at my job. This also helps my running too. I get a 1 hour massage every 3 weeks no matter how I feel. And I just go for a general full body massage. If I feel achy in a certain area I will request deep focused work. I have been seeing the same massage therapist for about 4 years. Sticking with the same massage therapist will benefit you in the long run. It gives the therapist a chance to get to know your body and where you hold your tension. Clients generally have the same chronic issues on a regular basis.
Regular chiropractic adjustments is also a part for my injury prevention. I usually go weekly. The leaning over my table can take a toll on the neck. With the running and weight lifting my body is asked to do a lot. Sometimes this can throw off my aliment.Chiropractic helps to keeps all my joints in their proper place, so that I don’t start compensating in weird patterns.
If my body feels off I will get an extra massage and adjustment. I will keep up with the extra sessions till I feel my normal self again.
Running form also is important for injury prevention. I have personally found Chi Running as a good resource. The goal is to have a short quick stride so that you are running 180 bpm. Most running app can help you track this. If you can tolerate it, running with a metronome set to that beat will help. Spotify also has playlists that has music for 180 bpm.
And we can’t forget about the importance of cross training. I personally like weight lifting. But any other form of exercise counts. Just find another active you enjoy on a regular basis. Cross training helps your body move and use your muscles in a different way. In addition it give your legs a break from running so they stay fresh. My current training routine is a short, medium and long run. I’ll lift just upper body one day and just lower body another day, totaling 3 hours.
Rest, rest, rest is the time your body needs a chance to repair/heal. A rest day needs to be a true rest day. So put your feet up and take a nice nap. How much rest you need is individual. The clients I see in my office aren’t professional athletes. A rest day or 2 isn’t going to effect your gains. Chances it will actually improve your performance.