Injury prevention 5 ways to avoid running injuries

How to stay injury-free during your running training.A significant amount of first-time runners drop out before race day.

Can you imagine going through all of the hard work of training and not actually making it to the start line? It would be heartbreaking.

Follow our advice below to reduce the risk of injury and get to the start line happy and healthy.

1. Avoid extra "junk" miles

The more you run, the better you’ll get, right? Not necessarily. Doing too much too soon will put you on the fast track to injury. Stick to your plan and you'll put in a great performance on race day. Less is often more.

2. Include cross-training

The stress from the high impact forces of running can put a real strain on your joints, ligaments and muscles. Mix up your training with some low-impact training.

Try some swimming, cycling or a session in the gym on the elliptical trainer (remember to keep your heels down on the pedals!). These will all still improve your cardiovascular and strength endurance.

3. Rest well

Sometimes life gets in the way. You might be feeling unwell, had a stressful day in the office or maybe you’ve had a bad night’s sleep. If in doubt, take an extra rest day. It’s not the end of the world.

Just because you’ve missed a training session, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to complete your race.

4. Loosen up

Having a good range of motion through your joints and muscles will improve your running. Dynamic stretching before running will improve the quality of your session, while static stretching after your session will aid your muscles to return to their normal state.  

If you find it hard to stretch, then try a Pilates or yoga class that’s suitable for your level of flexibility.

5. Massage

Invest in a foam roller. Rolling sore or tired muscles is a form of self-massage. The myofascial release as you work on the muscles will help your muscles recover for the next session.

Alternatively, treat yourself to a good sports massage. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel afterwards.