Preventing running injuries can seem impossible, but it is possible to take better precautions when running. Honestly, you never know when they will happen, and the best thing to do is to stop running and take some time off immediately if you feel anything funny happening. However, most of us runners are quite stubborn, and will ignore that aching, annoying pain because it is just “an easy four mile run.”
Recently, I have been tracking twenty plus miles a week. After what I thought was an amazing four mile trail run, I started to feel a terrible ache in my hip. I ignored it, took a NSAID and iced, and kept on ignoring it for the next two weeks until it hit me like a truck. After I completed a two mile run, the pain became so unbearable that it was hard for me to walk. I had to shake off my stubbornness and call the doctor.
I started physical therapy, and what is the diagnosis? A sprained muscle, maybe bursitis or maybe a labrum tear. When would I get an accurate answer? They told me I would have an answer after a few sessions of physical therapy and after doing some strengthening exercises. What do they tell me to do? “Do not run under any circumstances, try swimming!”
After a few sessions with the physical therapist, I did feel better, but I needed a change. I signed up for some Yoga classes at a local studio, explained to the instructor my situation, and boom! Hip openers to the max. After a week of yoga, I already felt ten times better. I am sore, stretched, and had worked muscles I was ignoring while running. Going out for a run is not enough. You have to have a strong core to carry your legs, and it seemed like that is exactly what I needed to work on. Yoga helps because it allows you to build strength, and it allows you to stretch out and loosen any tight muscles. Yoga teaches you to pay attention to your breathing, to focus on your core, to help with your balance, and to stand taller. If you are a runner, try to fit in yoga once a week! Your body and stride will be thankful.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013