The Top 5 Ways to Avoid Winter Running Injuries
Winter may not always seem like the ideal setting for running, but if you’re a runner you know that, no matter the season, nothing can stop you – unless of course you are suffering from a running injury. We have devised a list of the top 5 ways to avoid winter running injuries to make sure you’re always running-ready and pumped to keep up the pace.
Avoid Running Injuries Tip #1: Avoid inconsistency. Consistent training is essential. Just because it’s cold or snowing, doesn‘t mean you should take the week off from training. Get to a local indoor track if the weather is bad, as taking too long a break from training can cause you to stiffen up your joints and muscles and leave you prone to injury when you return. Inconsistency also means inconsistent training schedules. Maintain a routine that keeps you doing the same training on a regular basis.
Avoid Running Injuries Tip #2: Stretch, stretch, stretch. Unless you’re a firefighter sliding down the pole in response to an emergency, there’s no excuse for just jumping out of bed and tying on your shoes to bolt out the door. Make sure that you prepare your body for the exercise ahead by giving yourself time to stretch. If your body has been relaxing or resting, you want to make sure that it has been given a chance to prime itself, especially when facing a harsher, colder winter climate.
Avoid Running Injuries Tip #3: Have the right equipment. A proper pair of running shoes and that all-important water bottle are key components of any runner‘s arsenal. Going without can cause major pains – literally! Running shoes need to fit well, and not be all worn out. Running shoes, no matter how well-made, have a finite lifespan, and when they expire they can’t provide the support necessary to avoid running injuries. Hydration is also crucial, so make sure that you are rehydrating your body as you go.
Avoid Running Injuries Tip #4: Cool Down. Once you have returned from your run, whether it was a 1-K jaunt or a 20-K half-marathon, make sure to cool down. Don‘t just go about regular activities or flop on a couch. Your body needs time to properly recover from your workout, so offer it essential TLC which can often include massage therapy, or pouring cold water on your legs after a long run. Soaking in a whirlpool a few hours after the workout can also be a good muscle recovery technique. Just like stretching, recovery is an essential part of any running routine, and an important strategy for avoiding running injuries.
Avoid Running Injuries Tip #5: Always listen to your body, as it knows when it’s been pushed too hard or if something isn‘t right. If you feel pain or discomfort, either during or after a run, the best way to avoid any further injury is to stop – immediately. And if you find yourself remaining stiff and aching after stopping, it’s best not to ignore these symptoms as they can often be a sign of bigger problems. Visit a sports injury or running injury clinic to find out what you can do to get yourself back out on the track.
For more information on how to avoid running injuries during the winter, or how to treat them if they do occur, contact Athletic Edge Sports Medicine by calling 416 800 0800, or visit www.aesmphysiotherapytoronto.ca