Running without injuring yourself requires a lot of discipline. Regardless of the level or intensity, running is a physical activity that requires you to take several precautions.
In fact, runners must be familiar with the proper techniques and habits to avoid nasty injuries and foot pain. On the surface, running seems to be a natural gesture, but this is not always the case.
Your podiatrist is a professional who can help you evaluate your posture and running technique. They will be able to advise you according to your needs.
Here are some good tips on how to run without injuring yourself.
Wear running shoes adapted to your needs
The first thing to do is to get a good pair of running shoes. That old pair of shoes lying around in your closet is probably not the best choice for running without injuring yourself.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a good running shoe:
- intended purpose
The shape of your foot is also an important factor in choosing your running shoes. You can have a thin, wide, hollow or square foot. If you wear a plantar orthosis, it is also important to test it in the shoe.
Lastly, it is important to understand your foot’s pressure points. They may be flat or on the inner part of the foot. How the sole of your shoes wears out is often a good indicator of your dominant support points.
Conduct a biomechanical examination
A biomechanical examination of your feet, performed by a podiatrist, helps you to understand your posture, gait and running techniques. This way, you will know a little more about what kind of runner you are. And you will also know how to correct deficiencies in your running technique. At the same time, there is less risk of injury.
In particular, the biomechanical exam will evaluate:
- your foot’s movement
- the biomechanical deficiencies of your feet
- the movement of the joints of your feet
- your gait
- running, if required
During this assessment, the podiatrist is interested in the foot in motion and at rest. This allows the podiatrist to accurately identify your needs in order to become a better runner. The podiatrist will recommend ways to run properly, and you can gradually develop an effective running technique.
Proceed in stages
If you want to run without injuring yourself, don’t start off with a marathon! You must first adapt to your own running technique and become more confident. So you have to take it step by step.
Below are a few tips to help you succeed:
- Take alternate breaks between running and walking (about 5 minutes of moderate running, followed by 1 minute of walking).
- Run about 3 times a week.
- Adopt good breathing techniques.
- Set realistic goals: for example, a beginner cannot expect to run 30 minutes non-stop with ease until practising for about 6 weeks.
Perform strength-building exercises
In order to run without injuring yourself, it is sometimes necessary to perform exercises to build up muscle strength. In fact, running calls upon numerous muscles and tendons in your feet, legs, calves, buttocks and back.
A variety of unique exercises can help to strengthen muscles:
- the plank
- leg and thigh stretching
- pelvic thrusts
These exercises do not require any special equipment and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Your podiatrist can also recommend many exercises to strengthen your feet.
PiedRéseau: wise advice to help you run injury-free
Feet are a very complex part of the human body, and yours are no exception. In order to avoid foot injuries and keep you motivated, your best option is to seek the expert advice of a podiatrist.
PiedRéseau brings together a network of professionals from all over Quebec to help you run properly without hurting yourself. More than 40 clinics throughout the province give you access to the best advice on how to run the right way, injury-free.
Stop by your favourite PiedRéseau clinic to (re)start running with confidence.