Running is one of the best cardio exercises you can do on a regular basis. This cardiovascular exercise results in more weight loss than any other training method. Not only that, running is very convenient and it does not require any special type of equipment or expensive gym fees. All you need is a quality pair of running shoes and off you go!
Nevertheless, the high impact nature of running can cause lots of injuries and this is why this sport has such a bad wrap in the fitness circles. Luckily, most of the trouble can be prevented by just following these simple training guidelines below.
Pick The Right Running Shoe
Your running shoes are critical for injury prevention. Most runners believe that any shoe can do the job. That’s wrong. In fact, running in the wrong shoe can only lead to serious injuries such shin-splints, Achilles tendonitis and other foot problems. Add to that, the constant discomfort you’re going to experience throughout the running session is a big negative.
As a result, make sure to pick the right shoe. A proper running shoe must be a good fit, not too tight, no too wide. Head to your local sportswear store and seek advice. The sales associates there are usually masters of the craft (but not always) and can pick just the right shoe for you. Be careful though since the right shoe is not necessarily the most expensive shoe. Before purchasing a pair, give them a test drive and assess if they’re a real “sole-mate”.
Gradually Increase Running Distance
One the most common mistakes runners make is increasing their running distances too fast, too soon or both. Opting for this training pattern is a sure way to suffer from overuse injuries and overtraining without reaping the benefits from your workouts. The “no-pain, no-gain” attitude can spell disaster on your running program.
Therefore, start your running routine slowly and increase the distance gradually. Opt for the 10 percent rule and gradually stretch your running mileage from one week to the next. And as you log in more miles, make sure to assess your body and evaluate how it’s reacting to the training load.
Choose The Right Running Surface
Most runners are city dwellers. That’s an evident truth. But the sidewalks and the paved roads are not the best running surfaces if you’re looking to stay injury free. Hard surfaces add to the high impact nature of running, thus leading to more discomfort and muscle soreness afterwards. When opting for the wrong running surface, expect runners knee, bone fractures and other serious injuries.
Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a perfect running surface. Every surface has its pros and cons. Grass and soft trails are almost the best choices when it comes to picking the right training terrain. No need to be obsessed about the right surface, just make sure that you’re doing the best to run on the right one. The occasional sidewalk run won’t do much damage.
To stay injury free you need to put into action what you’ve just learned. Success is not about having the right knowledge, it’s about applying that knowledge on a regular basis until it becomes almost instinctive. So take action now and remember to always stay within your fitness level.