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Ready To Up Your Miles? Take Steps To Avoid These Common Runner’s Injuries

Ready To Up Your Miles? Take Steps To Avoid These Common Runner’s Injuries

Whether you love pounding the pavement, making the rounds at the track, or tackling the treadmill, adding more miles can often equal one big problem: injuries.

But have no fear — you can increase your miles safely without increasing your odds of injury.

It’s no secret that running can put added strain on your body, leading to aches, pains, and other injuries that leave you sidelined. That’s why our experts offer sports medicine services for all levels of athletes at Premier Foot and Ankle Center.

With our help, you can keep your body in peak performance by training right and taking good care of your feet.

Here’s how to avoid these common running injuries when upping your miles. 

Recognizing common running injuries

Running often seems like a safe and worry-free way to exercise. Just lace up your sneakers and head out the door, right? 

While it’s certainly true that runners typically experience fewer traumatic injuries from colliding with other players or objects, they’re highly vulnerable to overuse injuries. 

In fact, 80% of running injuries occur from repetitive stress. The most common injuries involving the feet and ankles include:

Fortunately, you can avoid these injuries by taking these steps, especially when increasing your miles:

Have a training plan

It’s tempting to think you can put on your athletic shoes and start running, but it’s a little bit more involved than that. It actually requires proper technique, training, and gear to avoid serious injury.

To start, you have to progress slowly, and that’s where a solid training plan comes in.

Generally speaking, never increase your mileage more than 10% — or approximately one mile each week. And never increase distance and speed at the same time.

While your long-term goal can always be running farther faster, it’s crucial to pace yourself and focus on one at a time. Tackling both at once increases the likelihood of injury.

Finally, a proper training program includes gentle stretching and giving your muscles time to rest so they can recover. Rest may seem like a low priority, but it’s almost as important as exercise itself. 

Make time to cross-train

Running may be your passion, but if it’s your only priority, you’re setting yourself up for an overuse injury, especially when adding more miles.

One strategy to avoid this pitfall is adding other types of exercise to your regimen that strengthen the muscles and support your body during your runs. And you can do these exercises on recovery days while giving your running muscles a break.

Types of cross-training exercises that are highly beneficial for runners include core activities, weight training, and yoga or Pilates.

And cross-training comes with an added bonus. Not only does it help you avoid injuries, but it can help you run better and longer.

Take good care of your feet

One of the most appealing aspects of running is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to get started. But you do need high-quality running shoes, even if you aren’t training for a marathon.

For the best results, work with an expert who can assess your feet, gait, and stride. This personalized attention ensures you find the best shoes for your foot type, along with how it comes in contact with the ground while walking or running.

In addition to wearing proper footwear, your shoes also have a limited lifespan — and it’s measured in miles. Generally speaking, you should replace them every 300-400 miles. But if you develop pain in your feet or legs, it’s time to replace them.

Last but not least, take time to pamper your piggies. Whether you’re a beginner or marathoner, running can do a number on your feet, from blisters and ingrown toenails to arthritis. 

If you have persistent foot pain, work with an expert on our team to identify the source. Without treatment, many common foot problems can worsen, especially when you try to run through the pain.

Know the difference between soreness and pain

Finally, it’s vital to understand when your body is trying to tell you there’s a problem.

In most cases, you can expect some minor tenderness after a run, especially when adding miles, but it’s never normal to experience sharp or lingering pain.

Ignoring these important cues can worsen an injury and cause it to progress into something far more severe. And as you might suspect, the worse the injury, the longer the recovery time.

If you experience pain, play it safe and stop what you’re doing. If it doesn’t improve within a week or two, schedule an appointment with an expert.

Do you want to up your miles? We can help you address — and avoid — common running injuries. Contact us at Premier Foot and Ankle Center to book a consultation in Worcester or Webster, Massachusetts, today.

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