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Prevent Injury While Running: Know Your Limits

Prevent Injury While Running: Know Your Limits

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Along with beneficial effects on your health, runners can run into negative side effects in terms of sports injuries. Running injuries can lead to a reduction in training in about 30 to 90 percent of all injuries. Keep yourself out of those figures by doing what you can to prevent injury while running. One way to avoid an injury is by knowing your limits.

Every runner has an injury threshold. Some are at 10 miles a week, some 100, but once you reach it, you get hurt. To avoid it, keep the “terrible twos” in mind: do not do too much, too soon or too fast. Give your body time to adapt when making training changes and increasing mileage or intensity.

Strive to follow the 10 percent rule. Build your weekly training mileage by no more than 10 percent per week. If 10 percent seems too aggressive for you, some first-time runners increase mileage by only three percent each week and do fine. Do not push yourself too hard or injury will occur.

Follow a training approach that works for you. After a hard day, take an easy day. Some big runners scale back their weekly mileage by 20 to 40 percent about once a month.

In addition to your time and mileage, know that an approach that is too aggressive for you will also pave the way to injury. Hill running, trail running, intervals or any changes in your training can lead to problems.

Keep track of your weekly mileage, time and where you run. Note how you feel after each run and look for patterns. Tweak the workouts that seem to be problematic.

Overall, listen to your body. If you feel like your body is saying, “Wait a minute!” listen to it. Approach change with caution and pay attention to how you feel.