Warmer weather brings many opportunities to run races, including “fun runs,” 5Ks, 10Ks, mini-marathons and even marathons. If you are a runner, it is important to know what to do to prepare, prevent injuries and keep yourself healthy.
There is a common mistake many people make when preparing for a big run. If you had previously been following a consistent training schedule, changing your routine could cause you to become injured before race day ever arrives. That’s why it is best to stick with the training regimen you have already been following. This means you should continue doing the same exercises you have been doing and following the same stretching routine. The week before your race is not the time to try to push yourself harder.
On race day, it is important to warm up before the race. After you finish your race, do a “cool-down” activity; don’t immediately celebrate your hard work. Your cool down should take between five and 15 minutes, including jogging and stretching. Afterward, you will need to give your muscles a rest and apply ice to help your body heal.
Foot and ankle injuries can be especially prevalent during long-distance runs. These injuries can affect the muscles, tendons, bones and skin in your feet and ankles. Stretching is important to prevent tendon and muscle injuries.
Also, to prevent blisters, you should never change shoes before a race – it’s best to wear the shoes you have been wearing to train. If your running shoes are near their mileage end or you want a new look for the race, it’s best to get them several weeks before the race and break them in.
If you do experience an injury from running, our specialists at the UofL Health – Foot & Ankle Center can help. From basic foot problems to the most complex conditions, our providers have the expertise to address any foot or ankle issue. Call 502-363-0588 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
UofL Health – Frazier Rehabilitation Institute also offers a Runner’s Edge Program that can evaluate your injury risk and help you develop an individualized plan to prevent injuries. Schedule an appointment at the Frazier Rehab Institute location most convenient for you today: