Today is Global Running Day – and we know just how good a long run can be. Whether you’re a professional couch potato or a distance running regular, going for a run can give you a big emotional boost, even on the rainiest of days – not to mention the massive health benefits that come with a lot of exercise.
Running, though, can be a minefield of injuries – everything from strained muscles and twisted ligaments, sprained ankles, shin splints and ‘runner’s knee’ (you know it’s a big sport when it has its own condition named for it…).
Here’s our list of top tips to helping you to get the most out of your run – whether it’s a light jog after work or a gruelling marathon – and to keep yourself safe as well.
And remember, if you are unlucky enough to pick up an injury, LimbO is there for you if you need support!
Walk before you run
While it might be tempting to go straight out as soon as you possibly want to, expecting to be able to run a marathon straight away simple isn’t possible, and it won’t end well. Doing too much too soon is a sure-fire way to pick up something unpleasant such as shin splints, not to mention the inevitable burnout that comes with it.
Following a plan such as Couch to 5K might be a good idea for total beginners, but even if you’ve been running for a while, it’s better to build up gradually and maintain your distance rather than going for a massive increase quickly. Increasing your total distance by about 10% a week is a good level.
Shoes make the runner
A lot of injuries suffered by amateur runners come from what they’re wearing – poor footwear can be a real killer for legs and knees, so it’s important to find a pair of trainers that work well for you.
They don’t have to be too expensive, but support, comfort and durability are musts – especially if you’re going to be pounding the pavements night after night and don’t fancy the possibility of something like plantar fasciitis stopping you. Experts suggest replacing your running shoes roughly once every 500 miles, and going to a specialist running shop to have a thorough fitting will make sure you get the perfect pair.
Rest when you can
Once you’ve started running, you might not want to stop! But not giving yourself enough recovery time between sessions is a certain way to give yourself a stress fracture or any other number of nasty conditions, so take care to plan your schedule accordingly. Taking it easy for a few days isn’t a crime, as it might actually help you out in the long run.
Don’t keep going if you’re hurt
Finding out you’re hurt while running is never a good thing. In some cases, though, it’s not easy to know whether the little muscle twitch you’ve felt is a one-off, or the first sign of something much more major, like a bout of tendonitis or runner’s knee.
The advice here is simple - if you have any doubts about whether you can run without any trouble at all, don’t do it, or at the very least take extra special care. Taking a rest for a few extra days is better than carrying on and turning a small niggle into a big issue.
Keep it on the level
If you have a good pair of running shoes, you can tackle all kinds of surfaces with confidence – but take care on anything too uneven or rough, because a twisted ankle is never a pleasant thing.
Running on concrete increases the impacts your body takes from running, which leads to more wear and tear, so try and avoid it as much as possible. And steer clear of anything that requires you to tackle large hills.
Our LimbO waterproof leg and foot protectors can help you fight back from broken bones, sprains, shin splints - anything that needs a plaster cast or bandage to help heal. You can take a look at how LimbO can get you back on the road by visiting www.limboproducts.com.