The second part of our blog into how to avoid injury whilst road running looks at gradually increasing your run lengths and the importance of cross training. It must be mentioned at this point that the type of footwear you choose to run on the roads may be completely different to that of cross country or in the gym. Do not be a fashion icon, purchase the appropriate footwear that fits the terrain, shoes that are comfortable, so you do not get blisters and also supportive enough for the ankles. Once purchased look after your running shoes, clean them regularly and make sure the laces are in good order, if you do this then you will get plenty of miles out of them. Now that we are properly attired and fully laced up we can look at how to increase your mileage.
Increasing Your Mileage
To aid your running performance you will find that good aerobic activity will help immensely. The idea of slowly increasing your mileage is that it prepares your body gradually to accept more stress, build up your training to go along with increasing your intensity of running. The increase should not be an increase in volume, but should vary from periods of reduced intensity and then high intensity. At this point you should introduce cross-training, as this will help maintain your aerobic fitness and take the stress out of too much intense running. You should now be including rest days in your program, which allows your body to recover, get stronger and adapt to your new regime.
It is at this point that you are no longer a simple amateur jogger, you’re running has progressed further than that, all starting with not trying to get injured. Perhaps it is worthwhile to pay for an hour or so of a running coaches’ time, show him your running style and detail your training schedule. A good coach will adjust your running schedule and training if there are problems, and perhaps introduce new fun activities that you were not aware of. The main aim has not changed, you still want to run injury free, so you can enjoy your sport and keep on at it.
One of the final and most important things you should discuss with a coach is your natural running gait, many injuries are caused by stupid little things that you may have overlooked. A good coach will look at things like foot bio-mechanics, how your heel lands and if you have excessive pronation. Also, if your foot is too rigid or too flexible, all these things can lead to severe injury. The right running shoe can help many of these things, which brings us back to the very start of this blog. Your running shoe might need some additions such as inserts to suit your foot structure, these are inexpensive and will save you a lot of pain.
Finally, after all this, you can pound the streets to your heart’s desire and enjoy your chosen sport, remember a smooth-running technique needs less energy and will halt any muscle fatigue and therefore any injuries.