No matter how well-trained or skilled a runner you are, injuries are the harsh realities of your profession. Irrespective of how hard you try to avoid them, you end up struggling with them once in a while. And the worst part is that in case you receive a severe injury, you have to stay away from your competitions, until you recover from it, even if you don’t want to do that.
No enthusiastic runner like the idea of missing the competitions due to an injury because giving a good performance is what gives them the ultimate satisfaction. Whether you struggle with the discomfort that stems from blisters or the pain that occurs due to stitches, it becomes an obstacle for you when it comes to giving your 100%.
Although running gives you tremendous joy, the repeated stress that you put on your joints and spine due to improper running techniques can have a severe impact on your well-being. Therefore, you must master the art of running not only to raise your performance but also to avoid injuries.
So, if you want to improve your efficiency and reduce the risk of injuries, you must consider the following tips.
If you want to bring magical changes in your ability to perform, you must get yourself trained in the first place. And to achieve this goal, you have to find a skilled and experienced coach and follow their advice without fail. Runners who fail to train themselves under the guidance of a reliable coach, fail to hone their running skills effectively.
So no matter how fit you are, it’s essential for you to take the support of a running coach to better your running skills. If you are unable to find a good running coach, don’t hesitate to use the internet to find one. For long-term benefits, it’s not vital to follow the instructions of your coach, but you should also share the problems that you face while running, regularly with them. In this way, your coach will get a better understanding of your fitness level and will create a personalized training program to address the areas in which you need to improve.
So, whether you are looking forward to increasing your endurance or you are preparing for that most-awaited marathon, a reliable running coach can up your potential to run like anything.
Stick To Your Workouts
Following an effective workout routine is utterly vital for increasing your running stamina. Yes, as an athlete if you are unable to push your limit, you won’t be able to achieve your goal; therefore, it’s imperative that you work on your endurance. And one of the best ways to do that is to perform quality aerobic and anaerobic moves during your workout sessions.
Sticking to both aerobic and anaerobic moves is the best way to up your overall fitness level. However, make sure that you start your workout sessions with warm ups because they are not only essential to prepare your body for high-intensity moves but also help in preventing injuries.
You should also embrace cool down moves because they help your body return to its normal condition.
Also, make sure that you do not perform heavy exercises on an empty stomach because that can lead to injuries. No matter at what time you prefer to exercise, it’s necessary that you consume a low-carb meal at least two hours before you start your workout session. A low-carb diet will give the right amount of energy you need to perform heavy exercises. And once you finish doing exercises, you should eat a high-protein meal.
Besides, you should also keep your body hydrated during the workout sessions because that is when you tend to sweat a lot.
Seek Physical Therapy For Injuries
But even after trying your level best to avoid injuries, if you end up injuring your body, don’t hesitate to seek physical therapy services for quick recovery. Physical therapists provide personalized care to their patients, which plays a crucial role in improving their health fast. So, when you consult a physical therapist, they design a care plan to meet your individual needs.
For example, they if they believe that cupping is the right treatment for your injury, they will use it to reduce your pain. Similarly, they might use techniques like laser therapy, manual therapy, athletic taping, and therapeutic exercise, etc., based on the intensity of your injury.
Out of all these techniques, therapeutic exercise is something that physical therapists suggest extensively for runners.
According to BioSport Physical Therapy, “Therapeutic exercise refers to a wide range of physical activities that focus on restoring and maintaining strength, endurance, flexibility, stability, and balance. The goal of therapeutic exercises is to return an injured patient to a fully functioning, pain-free state. They can also prevent loss of function and enhance a patient’s functional capabilities.”
Incorporate Nutrient-Dense Foods in Your Diet
Consuming a balanced diet that helps strengthen your muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones, etc., is crucial for runners. Since poor fitness leads to injuries and illnesses, it’s vital for you to consume healthy foods that can strengthen your body.
For example, to strengthen muscle growth, you must increase the consumption of foods like almonds, fish, eggs, chicken, and cottage cheese, etc. All these are high-protein foods, which help in building and strengthening muscles.
Similarly, to strengthen your bones, you must rely on foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Everyone knows that calcium helps in maintaining healthy bones, but very few will be aware that vitamin D is necessary for absorbing it. So, if you want to strengthen your fitness, start consuming foods that are a great source of calcium and vitamin D.
Some of the calcium-rich foods include nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts; tofu, soya beans, fish like pilchards and sardines, and veggies like spinach, broccoli, and cabbage, etc.
Since poor bone health can lead to health problems like osteoporosis and rickets, it’s always better to consume healthy foods to improve it.
According to NIH, “our bones make it possible for us to move and protect our precious organs like brain and heart from getting injured. They store minerals like calcium and phosphorous and produce them in the body when required for other purposes.”
As a runner, you can’t afford to put on extra weight because that has a direct impact on your performance. It puts pressure on your weight-bearing joints, thereby making it difficult for you to run. So, if you want to improve your ability to run, you must reduce your weight.
Apart from following the above tips, you should also focus on taking the right amount of rest whenever you feel tired.