Do you know how to run…correctly? Before I found yoga I was an avid runner. I even ran a marathon. But during my training I began to deal with nagging injuries–pain in my knees, hips, and feet–and I had to cut back. Running is an inexpensive, simple, and effective way to stay in shape especially IF you can avoid injury. Awareness is key, so here are 7 tips that will teach you how to run without injury, so you can be a runner for life.
How To Run Without Injuring Yourself
1. Know your running limits.
Learning how to run means knowing your limits. Every runner is different. Just because someone else can run a marathon every month doesn’t mean you can. “I firmly believe that every runner has an injury threshold,” says physical therapist and biomechanist Irene Davis, Ph.D., from the University of Delaware’s Running Injury Clinic on Runner’s World. “Your threshold could be at 10 miles a week, or 100, but once you exceed it, you get injured.”
2. Build your training mileage gradually.
Don’t do too much, too soon, or too fast. Your muscles and joints need recovery time. Build your training mileage by no more than 10 percent per week. For some this still might be too aggressive but definitely don’t go over 10 percent.
3. Keep a training log.
In order to ensure that you’re not overdoing it every week, keep a training log. Include your running distances as well as your average speed.
4. Focus on your form.
Those who know how to run correctly know a huge stride isn’t an advantage. Reduce your injury by shortening your running stride by 10 percent, which reduces your impact load. Also, try to strike the ground with your mid-foot, rather than your heel.
5. Know your body.
Listen to your body. Most running injuries don’t just explode into pain, they produce signals like soreness, aches, and persistent pain. When you start to feel pain, pull back and protect your body.
6. Try Chi Running.
7. Take walking breaks.
When you’re just learning how to run, don’t overdo it. There’s no shame in a walking break, even lifelong runners do it. Meet your body where it is. It’s better to be able to run consistently rather than running a few times and having to quit because you’re injured.