Most amateur runners go jogging on the streets and roads close to where they live, after all this is probably the most convenient and easy course that is available. And while in some respects road running is the safest way to enjoy your sport, it also can be the most dangerous. Running on the pavement is sometimes frowned upon by pedestrians, and running on the actual road there is danger from all other road users.
Remember if you do run on the open road wear a high visibility clothing so you can easily be seen, also try to run on roads that are well lit and have plenty of room. It is not advisable to try a highway or a dual carriageway going into the city for example, time your run out of peak traffic hours. The main and most common problem of road running is staying clear of injuries, tarmac is an unforgiving surface and takes a lot out of your joints as you pound away mile after mile. In this blog we look at some preventive measures to help you to avoid injury.
To run easily your body must be flexible, and daily stretching is advisable to improve and maintain your flexibility. For the stretching to be most effective it should be done after you warm up for ten minutes or so. Never try to rush your stretching exercises, and include all of your joints as they are all used when running. Also, never bounce on your stretching exercises and each stretch should be held for around twenty seconds or so. Useful stretches can be supplemented with sports specific dynamic exercises, such as skipping, making circles with your arms, high knee drills and swinging your arms across your body.
Include Strength Training
If your body is strong it is less likely to break, and strength training will give your body more power and overall athleticism. When your body is strong and athletic you will have less fatigue in the muscles which is the common cause of injury and leads to poor performance. Your strength training should include all muscle groups in both your upper and lower body. Good strength training could include weights and hill running, this strength training should be done in the off season, and a little during whilst you are actually running.
Eat and Drink Correctly
You may think what does what you eat, and drink has to do with running on the road, but anybody that is properly nourished and hydrated will perform better. The best time to run is early in the morning or in the evening, as you will avoid heat exhaustion. Hydrate a couple of hours before your run and maintain hydration whilst you are running, the recommended amount of water is six to eight ounces per fifteen minutes of exercise. Do not forget to rehydrate after your run, this is most important, perhaps as much as 25 ounces of fluid.
We take a rest from our running and go back to the start post in part two of how to avoid injury whilst road running, in which we look at gradually increasing the length of your runs.