Our Role Mothers have offered us advice, tips, and support on everything from training logs to nutrition, and this time around, we're asking them how they stay in good running health, because they have been fortunate enough to be mostly pain- and injury-free. Role Mother and triathlete Sarah recently explained how a serious injury set her straight and prevented further issues, and the rest of our Role Mothers are explaining how they prevent running injuries, from listening to their bodies to good old superstition. Tell us if you have any tips of your own below in the comments section.
Tania, the sputterer
I’ve been nursing an IT band injury for a couple of years now. It's on-again, off-again. When I'm my healthiest, it's because I'm doing some cross-training to strengthen my core, glutes, and hamstrings. Spinning and Piyo are my friends. Also when I consistently foam roll every day, it makes a huge difference.
Melissa, the marathoner
I have managed to stay injury free for 15 years of running, and besides being insanely lucky, I think it’s because I really listen to my body when it is talking. This is a learned skill, and one that requires you put ego on the back burner plenty of times, so you can rest, recover, and give your body plenty of time to heal and/or get and stay strong in order to prevent injury. Even the slightest twitch, extended period of soreness, or just a “feeling” that today is not a day to hit the road or try to push it, sends me right back to the couch. Also knowing what feels “normal” and “healthy” is key here, so you can recognize when things are starting to go south.
Ashley, the beginner
You don't realize how much better you feel after a long run until you are finally running in the correct shoe. Being a beginner, I went cheap to start but once I discovered Saucony Hurricanes, I will never go back. Take the time to get fitted for the right running shoe and change out your shoes after they have put in their allotted mileage. Your body will thank you by not giving out!
Pam, the grandmother
I may be running injury free, but this grandmother body does have a few age-related and chronic pain problems. Having Lupus has caused me to listen to my body and I have had to cut a few of my runs short. But I usually follow these shorter runs with foam rolling to keep my muscles happy, especially that cranky IT band. I am also a big believer in strength training and I love the Super Short Strength Circuit training that Coach MK has given us in the Heart Rate Training plan. A lot of the exercises are very similar to what my physical therapist has prescribed. I also use Hyland's Traumex pain relief on my back and Hyland's Muscle Therapy Gel with Arnica for my muscle stiffness.
Nicole, the regular runner
First, can we find the largest slab of wood right now so I can knock it? Because, listen…I do not want an injury. I think I’ve managed to stay relatively injury-free all the years through a combination of luck, listing to my body and playing it smart. The smart part comes in with things like, there’s black ice out there, so I’m hitting the treadmill or Barre class instead of risking it on the roads. For listening to my body, if something feels off or I’m getting a chest cold or just super exhausted, I’ll adjust my workout accordingly. I’ve only recently gotten more serious about the importance of stretching in the last three or four years, and I think that’s helped to keep me limber as well.
What do you do to stay injury-free?