Well hello there! Happy Friday to you out there in blogland. I am
impatiently waiting for it to be Sunday so I can kick some bootie for 13.1 miles during the SLO Marathon.
Anyway, I am just a little (okay, ridiculously) excited.
On to more important business,
Now that we are friends, I think it’s time to let you in on a little secret.
I get injured… a lot.
Injuries can be absolutely devastating. They can derail your training efforts, kill your spirit, and cause you more grief than they are worth.
Personally, in the last year I have had the following injuries:
- Hip bursitis
- Lower back pain
- Sciatica pain
- Numerous knee problems
- Shin splints
- 2 pulled groin muscles
- A jammed toe
- Tight hip muscles
- Plantar fasciitis
To help with this problem, I have put inserts in my running shoes, I stretch and ice it regularly and my foot has been taped up for the last week or so with KT Tape.
The most important thing with EVERY injury is not to ignore it and take the proper precautions to help it heal.
You can run through some pain, but some you definitely should not. With distance running, pain is something you absolutely must get used to. Sometimes, when I go out for my morning run every joint in my body hurts. These are the days that I take it easy.
Learn to know the difference between a normal pain you can work through and a serious pain that needs to be looked at by a professional.
Get the proper shoes people. Seriously.
I run in Newton Distance U, but that does not mean that I am advocating them for you specifically. Go to your local running specialty store and get fitted for the proper shoes for your running type. It is important that they do the “running test” to make sure that you are in the right ones. You might feel weird about running around in a store and having people watch you, but get over it.
This doesn’t mean that you should go out and drop $150 on the best shoes ever, but if you are running over 20 miles a week… you should consider investing in a good pair.
Stretch before and after your runs. If not before, then definitely after- when you muscles are warm.
Cross training is great for a number of reasons.
- It gives your “running” muscles a break and can allow them to rest. This can prevent injuries from overuse.
- It can strengthen other muscles that you typically don’t use when running. Which can prevent injuries from weak or overcompensating muscles.
- It can prevent burn out. Let’s face it, doing the same thing day in and day out is boring. Take a spin class or go for a swim to change things up.
I highly recommend icing problem areas, like this,
I like to use saran wrap and wrap the ice pack to my problem area so I am more mobile (and it makes me feel like I am back in college playing water polo).
I also recommend using a foam roller regularly.
I talked about the benefits of foam rolling in a previous post (here).
Using athletic tape to compress an injured muscle or area, with products like KT Tape, can also help tremendously.
Here is a picture of my foot with KT Tape to soothe my plantar fasciitis.
(No big foot jokes people, I am 5’8″, cut me a break!)
My old running coach, (yes, I tried running with a team… it didn’t work. I am a one man wolf pack!) was a HUGE advocate of ice baths. I totally hate them, but they are sooooo good for your legs after a long run. I have also posted about the benefits of ice baths (here).
Seriously folks, if you don’t do ice baths… try it after your next long run or race. It will save you so much pain, stiffness and grief.
After my horrendous half marathon finish in Fresno last May, I could barely walk.
I took a 20 minute ice bath when I got home; it sucked, but I immediately felt better.
So, ice baths. Do it.
Besides, if running legend Mo Farah does it, you should too.