So you’ve committed to running a race. Now the real work begins! Julia Reich, DPT, runner, and physical therapist at Alta View Hospital, shared the importance of cross training and four steps to avoid runner injuries.
The importance of cross training:
Strong muscles, ligaments and tendons are a runner’s best defense against injury. Cross training increases a runner’s aerobic fitness level, power, and efficiency, so while it may be tempting to spend all of your time pounding the pavement, incorporating cross training as a central part of your training program can reduce injuries, and ultimately help you run stronger and faster.
How injury can arise:
1. Increasing mileage too quickly
Ramping up your mileage too quickly is a surefire way to end up with an injury before your big race. Many runners follow the 10 percent rule of increasing the amount you run no more than 10 percent each week. And although there are varying opinions out there, when you’re just getting started in running, it’s a good rule of thumb to make sure you don’t take on too much all at once.
2. Improper gear
Running doesn’t require a lot of gear, so when it comes to protecting your body against injury, the right pair of shoes can make all the difference. In fact, for runners, most feet and ankle injuries can be traced back to ill-fitting shoes.
3. Muscular imbalances
Muscular imbalances occur when there are differences in muscular strength and flexibility. Essentially when one group of muscles is stronger than another, a muscle imbalance can occur, causing stress on weaker parts of the body and inefficient movement patterns. Strengthening these muscles can help your body to work in a complementary way, warding off potential injury.Exercises focusing on core stabilization, gluteal training, knee strengthening, and ankle strengthening can help to prevent muscular imbalances.
4. Poor running mechanics
Running mechanics or good form in your running can make all the difference and can help you cross the finish line safely.
Race Training the Safe Way
- Free workshop
- July 12 at 6:00pm
- Alta View Hospital, 9660 S. 1300 East, Sandy
Visit intermountainhealthcare.org for more information.
This story includes sponsored content.