Regularly running is a perfect way to maintain your physical and mental health. Nothing puts a damper on your healthy lifestyle more than a running injury that keeps you out of action for long periods.
Experienced podiatrists Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, of Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, can treat running injuries with sports medicine, but the best way to cope with running injuries is to avoid them entirely. Follow these tips to keep your feet and ankles injury free as a regular runner.
How to avoid running injures
Not every running injury is preventable, but taking steps to prevent as many as you can goes a long way. Try the following strategies to keep running without injury for years to come.
Wear the correct shoes
One of the easiest ways to keep your feet happy while you run is to wear the correct shoes for your sport and foot type. The best shoe is a specialty running shoe built for your foot type.
Our podiatrists recommend you buy running shoes at a specialty store that helps fit shoes that fit correctly and accommodate your arches and running gait. Be sure to replace your running shoes as soon as you’ve run the maximum miles they can bear.
Additionally, our team can assess your feet and alignment and let you know if you have any structural issues in your feet that might put you at risk for injuries. If you do, our team can fit you for custom orthotics that comfortably fit into your running shoes and keep you safe.
Watch your training carefully
Overtraining is one of the most common causes of running injuries. Overtraining occurs when you increase your running miles and intensity more quickly than your body can handle.
Generally speaking, you can reduce your risk by not increasing your distance by more than 10% weekly. Keep to a realistic schedule of training that improves your fitness while ensuring you get enough rest and maintain your health.
Check your running gait
Running improperly can be another frequent cause of injury. Running gait problems can include:
- Running with poor posture
- An awkward gait
- Running on your heels
- Twisting your feet
Along with good footwear and orthotics, not running more than your body can handle and working with a running coach helps ensure you run correctly. It also helps to keep your entire body strong by doing strength training, flexibility exercises, and other crosstraining alongside your running routine.
Run on easier surfaces
Pavement, sidewalks, and other hard surfaces are harder on your body and more likely to cause injury. Whenever possible, try to run in safer areas, like running trails or grass.
Check your readiness to run before you start
If you’ve been inactive or only active in other sports, our podiatrists recommend a check-up to ensure your body is healthy enough to run. Our team ensures your feet, ankles, and legs are ready to withstand the high impact of running and makes any recommendations needed to safely get you active.
Our team can help you start and maintain a running routine that stays as injury free as possible. To find out more, contact us for an appointment.