A Guide to Injury Prevention When Running or Jogging

Running is a fantastic exercise that can be undertaken by anyone no matter their age or if you are a professional runner or not.

One of the most common reasons why runners injure themselves is because their bodies are unprepared to for the physical demands of the activity. When it comes to building an injury resistant body remember that you cannot let your aerobic fitness (endurance) outpace your structural fitness (bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles). 

“It is important to know that you need to take things slow when you are jogging in order to build stamina and energy for endurance,’’ explains Donald Mathipa, a marathon runner from Thembisa.

He also advises runners to wear the correct running shoes, suitable for your foot type in order to avoid picking up injuries.

“It has been said that the type of shoe you need to wear is based on how much we pronate or how much your foot rolls inward.

“Runners who over pronate or roll inward more aggressively are recommended to wear heavier, motion control shoes. You can always seek advice from the outlet when buying shoes so that you don’t end having the wrong ones,” said Mathipa.

Strength work is the most important side to concentrate on in order to avoid injuries, and there are several components of strength work:

  • Dynamic warm-ups – These are short, simple routines that employ dynamic movements to help prepare your body to run. They also help in reducing post workout soreness.
  • Dynamic cool downs – This is a set of short, simple exercises that help your body cool down after your run, and build strength and flexibility in key areas like your hips, glutes and hamstrings.
  • Core and strength routines – Strength routines that focus on core, hip and glute strength are critical to injury prevention. Weak hip and glutes are frequently to blame for running injuries, and a strong core helps you remain stable when fatigue starts to kick in.
  • Proper buildup – This is when you starts with slow buildup and not put in too much and too fast.
  • Consistency and effort – Be consistent in running or jogging and also make sure you put in more effort. Enjoy the run and continually look to make small gains, they add up over time.
  • Progressive overload – The concept of training is pretty simple, the main way to progress your exercise is intensity, volume and shorter rest periods between the sets of runs.
  • Nutrition – This is the biggest player involved when it comes to making the gains you are striving for. Some people say that 80% of your results comes from how and what you eat while 20% comes from training. It is advisable to eat a fruit before your run or have a light breakfast and avoid making your stomach full.