Running doesn’t always have to feel like a punishment for doing something wrong – it can be a fun and healthy experience. But in order for running to provide health benefits without causing lower extremity injuries, you must follow proper technique.
Runners commonly battle foot and ankle injuries, as the impact of every step is the equivalent of up to two times a person’s body weight. The top five running injuries are stress fractures, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee and shin splints.
Former high school and college runner and podiatric physician Dr. Kwame Williams treats patients out of Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ Northside, Liberty and Boardman offices. He offers the following tips for minimizing your injury risk and keeping running fun.
- Increase your turnover. Focus on taking quick, light steps while keeping your core ‘tighter.’ Pretend you’re stepping on hot coals, or run as if you’re trying not to create a sound. The culmination of these efforts make your stride and cadence most efficient.
- Mix in intervals. Go to a track, run one lap at your fastest minute per mile pace, walk half or quarter to recover, then do it again. Work your way up to five to five times. If you can’t find a track, run from light post to light post or stop sign to stop sign.
- Try some hills. Find a steep hill about a football field in length at most and sprint it hard, jog back down, and do it again. At maximum effort, you should only be able to get in about four of these.
- Rest. Running hard every day makes you slow and it’s no fun. Running is violent to your body – it’s critical to recover and repair. Without rest, you will never built upon your success.
Remember to warm up. A quick way is to do 30 pushups, 30 sit-ups and one minute of jumping jacks and you’re good to go.
For more information on healthy running or injury treatment, contact Dr. Williams at 330.629.8800.