Spring time is finally here; for most the snow has melted, flowers are blooming, and people are resuming their spring time running activities. There are some people who do run year round but for many, spring is the time of year where they dust off their old running shoes and start training again. Despite ones eagerness to resume training again, caution must be taken because after a long winter layoff, a sudden increase in activity can lead to an injury. An early season training injury could put halt on ones training for the rest of the season and this holds true for all people whether they’re young or old, training for a race, or just trying to reap the cardiovascular benefits from running. With proper caution people can resume their spring time training again and greatly reduce their chances for an injury. Here are some tips to follow to ensure a good running season free of foot and ankle injuries:
- Increase your mileage slowly. People have the tendency to want to start off running a marathon but you would be better off to start with just a couple of miles at a reasonable pace and progressively increase distance and speed over time.
- Don’t ignore aches and pains; it’s your body’s way of telling you that something is not right. It’s a common thing for an injury to start off as a minor pain which the person ignores and eventually it evolves into a full blown injury. It is much easier and requires less time to treat an injury in its early stages than when it gets to the point that it requires surgery.
- Make sure to allow enough time to recover before the next training session. Many people don’t realize this but the benefits of training happen after the workout during periods of rest and recovery when the body adapts to the training stimulus. Rest periods are going to depend on the individual but if you are still sore from the last training session you should wait to train again. One can try other activities such as stretching or yoga during the rest days to help promote recovery.
- It is always a good idea to incorporate strength training into your training schedule to help combat muscular atrophy that occurs with aging as well to maintain good muscle and bone health.
- Make sure you have good running shoes. You want shoes that fit properly and are not worn out. We all have our favorite pair of sneakers but they should be replaced when you’ve logged about 500 mile on them or at least every season.
By following these tips one can avoid sustaining an injury to their foot or ankle this running season. Common running injuries include stress fractures to the bones of the feet, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, blisters and many others. Any one of these could set your training back by several months. . If you suspect you might have sustained a running injury or would like to discuss this topic with a podiatrist, please make an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center located in Howell NJ.