How to avoid running injuries?

The greatest challenge of a marathon is not finishing the race but making it to the starting line uninjured and rested. According to a survey, two out of three marathon runners pick up injuries while training. Here's a quick look on how to prevent some common ones:

1. Consistent training - Make sure your training is consistent to make room for running improvement. Conversely, inconsistent training can lead to a variety of injuries. Missing out on several days and then jump right back into your training programme has high injury risk potential.

2. Building mileage at ease - Always adhere to the 10 percent rule. This two-part rule specifies: (1) do not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent nor (2) increase the distance of your long run by more than 10 percent per week.

3. Follow the hard-easy concept of training- Hard workouts include long runs, races, speed work, hill repeats, and/or any other stressful workout. Ensure that you don't run two hard workouts back to back. For example, if you complete a long run on Sunday, do not plan to go to the track to do a speed work session on Monday. This could lead to cramps and severe muscle pain. 

4. Listen to your body - Do not push yourself to great limits when it comes to training. It is vital to listen to what your legs are communicating to you throughout. Instead of running five or six easy miles during the middle of the week when your muscles feel fatigued or sore, take an extra day off and save your legs for the weekend long run. Being well-rested before the actual run is as important as being well-trained. So give your body the much-needed respite.

5. Stretch regularly - Exercising leads to a lot of sore muscles. So make sure you stretch them at regular intervals to keep them sane.

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