3 Running Safety Tips to Remember Next Race Day
Running is a great way to stay in shape, but just like any other form of exercise, there is potential for accidental injury. Dehydration, shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fasciitis are some of the most common running injuries. But there's good news! By being mindful and taking a few extra steps to stay safe, you can help prevent injuries like these and stay on track toward your running goals.
Tip #1: Know the best ways to stay hydrated.
If you’re exercising for longer than an hour or it’s hot out, you’ll need to drink more water than usual. Always be sure to replenish lost fluids after exercise. To get hydrated quickly, drink cold liquids! Cold drinks pass through the stomach and are absorbed faster than room temperature drinks.
Tip # 2: Don’t forget to stretch.
Stretching helps prevent injury by releasing muscle tension. There are 2 times you should stretch: before you exercise (but after a brief warm up!), and after you exercise (when stretching is most effective). To get the most out of stretching, hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Tip #3: Know how to prevent running injuries (and when to seek help).
There are many ways to prevent running injuries: wear supportive footwear; cross-train to strengthen your whole body; run with proper technique; don’t increase run intensity or distance too quickly. If you have pain that persists for more than 2 weeks or you have bruising, swelling, limping or pain that gets worse when you run, it’s time to reach out to your health care provider.
About the Author
Shane Hudnall, MD, is a primary care sports medicine specialist at Cone Health Sports Medicine at MedCenter High Point.