Injury prevention is ideal, but what do you when you get hurt?
Does that mean you can't maintain your training? And how quickly can you get back to running without possibly re-injuring yourself?
From learning how to cross-train with an injury to finding out the best way to stay positive through the aches and pains, six running experts offer their tips for how to push past a running injury and get back on the road as soon as possible.
Overcoming Injury Tip No.1: Find the Cause of Pain
"An alternative way to deal with pain is to listen carefully to your body to decipher what you could be doing that is causing pain to occur.
"Lack of movement: An area that is stiff, tense, or does not move enough can cause pain. It is important to move gently and increase your range of motion carefully.
"Improper movement: Whether you're creating too much impact from heel striking, reaching too far forward with your stride, pushing off with your feet at the end of your stride, or asking certain parts of the body to do more work than they are designed to do.
"Overuse: Overuse is not only caused by too much repetitive movement. Lack of movement and improper movement are often the cause of overuse in other parts of the body. If your hips are too stiff, your legs have to overwork; if your posture is not aligned, your muscles have to work to keep you standing; if you heel strike, your knees absorb the brunt of the impact."
Overcoming Injury Tip No.2: Ice Properly
Curt Blakeney and Zig Ziegler
"Ice application should follow the acronym CBAN: Cold, Burn, Ache, then Numb.
"Ice should only touch the skin if an ice rub is used. Otherwise, a thin fabric should be placed on the skin to buffer the skin from the ice. Yet, the ice must be perceived as cold when placed on the injured area. Proper application of ice isnt comfortable, but the results outweigh the temporary discomfort.
"This cold sensation will last approximately three to five minutes until a burning sensation appears. The burning sensation will fade into an ache, followed by numbness. Beware that once numbing occurs, remove and discontinue the ice. Continued application following numbing may result in tissue damage."
Overcoming Injury Tip No.3: Come Back Slowly
"Easing back into training slowly and surely means you gradually increase pace and distance—a practice that can help you build mileage even when you're healthy. 'This lesson is crucial, because there will be times in your life when you abandon your training—like after a stressful month at work or after taking the winter off,' says Larry Frieder, a chiropractor who works with world-class runners and triathletes in Boulder, Colorado.
"When you're returning to running, start with an easy workout. For example, if you used to run for an hour, run for 20 minutes instead. Slow your pace by a minute per mile, and take walk breaks as needed. Then, track how you feel in the next 24 hours. Feel great? Continue to build from where you started. Feel sore? Stick with the easy workout until it feels comfortable."