5 Tips for Injury Prevention

You see that? The photo above is my taped up hip. My hip has been bothering me for about 3 weeks now. I've rested it for an entire week, went back to running and pain again. At this point I am resting again but it is so difficult! I am used to being active and I am not happy just sitting around. But I am trying to remember the first rule of injury prevention -

I've been ignoring this rule by running and/or run/walking instead of just letting my body rest. This week I am scheduling a visit to the doctor because I want to be able to run my half-marathon in October and not make things worse. After attending the Team in Training Injury prevention workshop on Saturday, I know this is my best course of action. The injury prevention workshop was quite enlightening and I'll share with you a few things that I learned.

1. Listen to your body - I have to reiterate this one because if you are hard headed like me you will probably run in spite of the pain, take painkillers before the run or both. Don't do it! If you have pain, rest and let your body heal. You can ice the area for 20 minutes or less - using a bag of frozen peas works wonders.

2. Check your shoes - Being properly fit for running shoes can decrease your chance of injury tremendously! I had my shoes professionally fitted at a local running store - Big Peach Running. First I stood on a machine to see how my weight was distributed and if I over or under pronate when standing. I was then transferred to a treadmill where the store associate video taped and analyzed my running. With this information he was able to recommend shoes for me. I wish I'd visited him first, I initially purchased running shoes from Lady Footlocker and while it seemed like a good idea, it is kind of hit or miss. Best bet - visit a running store. Also, be sure to change your shoes after 300-500 miles.

3. Inserts - I use Super Feet inserts for extra cushioning and support in my shoes. In the past I've had some shin pain so I wanted to take precautions in an attempt to limit the amount of shin discomfort I feel. According to the Dr. leading the clinic on Saturday, we will all experience some shin pain when training but it shouldn't be completely debilitating.

4. Stretch and Cool Down - Seems like a no-brainer but this is an essential part of exercise that many people overlook and can lead to injury. Jumping right into your car after a run without stretching and cooling down makes your muscles tighten up quickly and pain can arise. I know I am sometimes guilty of not stretching but I try to get it in every time I exercise.

5. Stay hydrated - especially in this hot summer weather. Water will help keep your body going, when my dad ran a marathon he practically passed out trying to cross the finish line and it wasn't because he didn't train, I believe it was because he wasn't properly hydrated. This means drinking water before, during and after exercise! A woman my size (156 lbs) living in an extremely hot climate like Georgia and exercising 30 minutes daily should drink approximately 2.9 liters daily! I often fall short of this goal but I am working on it.

I didn't follow all of these injury prevention tips and subsequently, this week I will be visiting the doctor. If you are in pain longer than 7 days PLEASE visit the doctor. Don't be like me and wait it out. Better safe than sorry!

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*Lissa* said…
I have another important one to add to this list - *Don't do too much, too fast.*

I hope you get things figured out and healed soon. Injuries are so frustrating!
Bari said…
Thanks for the great post Renee! All very timely tips. I'm also guilty of not following the "listening to my body" and "stretching/cooling down" rules. I'm working on it though. With pain, it's always hard to determine if it's just normal soreness or an actual injury.

I hope your hip gets better soon so we can all run "together" in October!
YUMMama said…
AWww...hope that your hip feels better soon and that everything will go well at the doctor's.
Sheliza said…
Good advice and I sure hope you get better soon!
Drazil said…
Okay - first thanks for the tips and second can I just say while I know I'm missing the point....I love that pink tape? Gawd...I'm such a dork.
merrymishaps said…
This post is quite timely for me as just today I started doing knee/hip strengthening exercises in hopes of curing my achy knees. I plan on focusing on them 2-3 times a week and will also be doing extra stretching.

Yes, I've been ignoring pain for a while now because it hasn't been too bad ... but it's certainly not going away/getting better!
Such great tips! I really need to pay attention to the shoe fitting advice. It's time for me to find some new ones!

Take care of your hip - I'm sorry you are having problems with it.
Oh, sitting and waiting for an injury to heal is the worst. I had a pulled akiles tendon, and then got properly fitter for shoes...huge difference! But i am still the worst at stretching!
~Mendie~ said…
Have I mentioned how awesome it is that you are doing a half marathon...your son is going to be so proud of you when he grows up and looks back that that race!

Good luck with training.
ScrappinMichele said…
Great tips. I need to get my shoes professionally fit. I haven't done that yet. Thanks for the reminder! Hope your hip feels better soon.
sai krupa said…
You had given the grate prevention tips of the Injury is reliable, It helps to get the awareness about this. Thanks for the share..

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