If you’re a runner, you understand the importance of preparing yourself properly for your daily runs as well as any races you participate in. If you’re just starting out as a runner, it’s important for you to understand how to prepare properly for a run and how to perform a proper cool down following a run. Follow these guidelines to ensure you steer clear of common overuse injuries from not preparing yourself properly for running!

Preparing Before a Run

Stretching properly before a run is key to decreasing your risk of injuries. Static stretching puts you at an increased risk for injuries, so it’s important to perform dynamic stretches instead. Static stretches are designed to hold a position for a sustained period of time that stretches a joint or muscle. Dynamic stretches are designed to take a joint or a muscle through a challenging and repetitive motion, moving a body part further with each repetition. Reducing hip stiffness prior to starting a run will reduce the risk of dreaded overuse injuries. Dynamic stretching is ideal prior to exercise to prepare the joints for movement and muscles for optimal activation

Cooling Down After a Run

Following your run, slow down to a brisk walk and then a slower walk for 10 minutes. Once your heart rate has lowered, make sure to stretch your muscles. Once you’ve exercised and your muscles are warmed up, you can perform some static stretches. Foam rolling is another way to help reduce soreness following exercise. 

Keep in mind that you should never feel a sharp pain when stretching during your warm-up or cool down. Mild discomfort is something that can be expected, but don’t push it to the point that you feel a sharp pain. 

Whether you’re a running pro or just starting out, these tips can help you to avoid overuse injuries and keep you exercising without pain. 

If You’re Experiencing an Overuse Injury

Make sure to listen to your body if you’ve overexerted yourself and are experiencing unusual soreness. This could be some form of an overuse injury. Rest and take a break from vigorous exercising. If this doesn’t go away and you’re experiencing pain consistently, it may be something more serious than an overuse injury. Dr. Nelson specializes in injuries caused by sports and exercising. You can trust him to provide a correct diagnosis and a treatment plan to get you back to life with less pain and exercising again. 

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Nelson, give us a call at 435-774-8511.