Running is an ability that most individuals can perform during their lifetime. It is one of the world’s most popular sports and it a great way to stay in shape. Though it seems priceless, you can use exercise machines to increase the intensity of running, such as a treadmill. However, running can also lead to numerous injuries – whether you run 5k, 10k or marathons and beyond, runners of all levels tend to come across this familiar issue along the road (literally)…
Generally, injuries can be a giant barrier that may prevents success; a runner may especially encounter a serious number of injuries during longer runs, such as a marathon or ultra-running (anything over a marathon). Runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures in the foot are some ailments most runners find themselves struggling with while he or she is competing in a challenging race. Therefore, the best approach to achieve success for your next run is to avoid injury!
Here are some steps that you may find helpful and bring you closer to your running success:
Preparing for a race – It is admirable to push through a race when it is not going your way. It’s difficult to think that on a race day if things start to all downhill; generally, you shouldn’t change your goals or strategy. Therefore, the most important step in preparing for running and competing in races is planning ahead. This is particularly true for longer distances, such as marathons. Furthermore, some people will overtrain and find themselves having to stop training or even backing out of a race. Starting gradually, instead of jumping into long distances prevents joint or tissue overload. So, there is no secret to preparing for a run – preventing an injury is as simple as preparing ahead of time!
Maintain a positive mindset – Positive thoughts will work wonders on training runs, during events, and can even help in non-marathon situations. If you ever notice a negative thought, reframe it into a positive statement – for example, if you think, “This run is too difficult, there’s no way I can finish this course,” reframe it to, “This is quite a difficult run, but I will keep going.” Making positive statements can help increase motivation and help you work successfully towards your goals.
Choosing the right footwear – Footwear is a topic that is typically covered by many runners. While there is no perfect shoe for everyone, finding the right fit and type of shoe is necessary for success. If you have flat feet, arch supports or more sturdy shoes can help prevent excessive stress to your joints. Find what works best for your running style and goals.
Rest – For the body to recover successfully, it is always necessary to get an adequate amount of sleep; eat a balanced diet that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and contains sufficient protein.
Lastly, it is almost always helpful if you visualize success; imagine achieving that trophy or special time on the clock! Think about the victory that you can achieve while using all five senses and visualize yourself winning the race. If you lose focus whilst running, recall the reason why you decided to run and recommit to your goal. Take a deep breath, see yourself cross the finish line, and continue to move forwards…