In celebration of Global Running Day, we have 5 tips to avoid running injuries!
National Running Day has been celebrated in the United States since 2009 as part of an effort to get more people moving and encourage folks to embrace running as part of a healthy lifestyle. Fast forward to 2016, and the celebration went global, and on June 1 of that year, 2.5 million runners from nearly 80 countries participated in running a collective 9.2 million miles.
For us, every day is “running day,” because we love to run. While it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, running is one of the most efficient ways to build fitness, and you just can’t beat that runner’s high. It also happens to be pretty rad when you take it off-road and find yourself exploring some of the most beautiful areas of the world.
By the way, running injuries SUCK.
But with the good can come the bad, and running all too often leads to injured runners. Running injuries suck, no matter what level you’re at, so we asked retired pro-triathlete and current pro ultrarunner, Lisa Roberts, for her top tips on preventing running injuries.
Lisa began running while in high school and (this is crazy) her 1600m and 3200m records still stand. While it’s awesome she was so speedy, she’s committed to helping the young ladies currently in the program bring that record down. Throughout her triathlon career, Lisa regularly placed at the top of both the men’s and women’s fields for the closing marathon in long-distance triathlons. More recently, she jumped into ultrarunning and clocked last year’s fastest 50K trail time for women, in her first attempt. Suffice it to say, she knows a thing or two about running. Lisa – take it away!
#1: Get Strong
I do quite a bit of strength training to support a strong core and it makes a huge difference for me. Running looks like a fairly straightforward motion, and it is, but it requires your entire body to work together as one. And the connection from head to toe? Your core. Core work doesn’t just mean ab work – I’ll do everything from planks to lunges to balance exercises.
#2: Don’t Go Overboard
Now, this may seem like an odd piece of advice coming from someone who literally jumped into running ultra-long distances, but I was only able to do that because I have thousands of hours under my belt of smart, steady, and consistent run training. Most people either up their mileage too quickly, or try to hit specific paces that are just too fast for their fitness level and end up on the sidelines. It’s tempting to want to reach that next level “now,” but patience really is a virtue when it comes to run improvement.
#3: Embrace Active Recovery:
It’s tempting to sit on the couch all day and call it recovery. And while it is better than not taking a day off at all, there is so much benefit to purposeful, active recovery. Doing things like gentle yoga, self-massage, mindful meditation, and easy stretching can go a long way to reduce mental and physical stress. If you are so wrecked that sitting on the couch is literally the only thing you can do, make sure you’ve got some great compression tights or pneumatic compression boots to make the most of it.
Runners tend to have a hydration plan for during running, but making hydration a priority during recovery periods often gets missed. You don’t need to continue drinking sports drinks all day, but pay attention to how much water you drink and choose foods that have high water content (fruits, veggies, soups, etc) to boost your hydration levels. Proper hydration helps ease muscle soreness and tension.
#5: Fight that Inflammation!
One of the reasons I take Venga CBD is because it helps reduce inflammation caused by strenuous workouts, allowing me to feel better faster. I take an Ultra Gel daily in the morning but will double or triple the amount after intense workouts, and for several days following an event. In addition to CBD, I also take a daily B Complex supplement to help muscle repair.
Thanks, Lisa! You can check out Lisa’s initiative to help her high school develop its girls running program on her website and by giving her a follow on Instagram.