Girl Gotta Run
My journey with running began in a Physical Education clas in Russia when during one of the timed runs, out of nowhere, I outran our top guy athlete in the class. Never being into sports, I remember being surprised, and the guy irritated lol (that was still that time when boys and girls had their innocent rivalries). That’s when, for the first time, I experienced the runner’s adrenaline, which later became my passion.
Ever since the unforgettable experience of my first half marathon last October (NIKE Women’s!!), 13.1 has been my favorite number. However, after running my most recent half, and winning it, I haven’t been able to run for over 2 weeks. As I did what I knew better not to, I stressed my knee and added extra tension around it.
Taking time off due to an injury is a deeply frustrating and tough thing to do; however, there are simple ways to avoid it.
Here are the tricks, which if followed, will help you make your training smooth, and injury free:
1. The Right Shoes For You:
I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear the right shoe for your foot. You cannot just buy the same shoe as your girlfriend just because they look cute and get out blazing through the hills. That’s just screaming out for a sore knee.
You should be getting the shoe depending on your foot type, not the style or the brand name. And believe me, I am a strong advocate of cute running shoes, but the reality is, cute unfortunately comes last when you are picking out the right running shoe.
Whether you overpronate, natural, or supinate, a running specialist at the nearest running store can help you pick out the shoe for you.
As a runner, it is natural to have tighter leg muscles, and over-stretching can in fact be detrimental for you. However, moderate stretching will go a long way in injury prevention. Doing your stretches a mile into your workout and after will make a big difference on your performance and comfort.
3. Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a have-to for any athlete. Having similar effects as a deep tissue massage, foam rolling increases flexibility and relives unwanted muscle tension, thus increasing performance. Make it part of your routine whether you are a major runner, or just a workout junkie.
Here are the foam rollers (the denser it is, the deeper it gets in those tight muslces):
J Fit 36-Inch High-Density Foam Roller (I use this one)
Also, I love The Stick, as you can take it anywhere with you!
Rest is as important as your workouts. Resting your muscles allows them to recover, rebuild, and gain the needed strength. Make sure to take a day off after your long runs if you are training for a half/full marathon. And the time off after a major race will depend on how you are feeling after. After half marathons I usually take 3 days-1 week off running. (Which I didn’t do last time, and that’s why I am injured!)
5. Listen To Your Body
This is last, but not least on this quick list. Taking care of yourself, and listening to your own body is crucial, and is a major component of a successful training routine. It is ok to keep pushing through if you experience muscle soreness, but if you are hearing your knee/hip/etc slowly starting to talk to you, or even yell at you (ouch!), listen to it and take the time to let it recover.
Hope this short list helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
Here is the video of my first run after injury. It was glorious!