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The Most Common Running Injuries and How to Prevent Them


Training for a marathon takes commitment, hard work and athleticism. What you don’t want to overlook are the health and safety aspects of this demanding training process. Many runners suffer from the same ailments and many of these injuries can be prevented with a little more attention to the common problematic areas.

The most common running injury, patellofemoral pain syndrome (called runner’s knee), affects the knee joint and causes pain behind or around the kneecap. Running on softer surfaces, such as tracks or dirt trails, and increasing your mileage by less than 10 percent each week are the best ways to prevent runner’s knee. It’s helpful to gradually introduce hills into your routine to slowly strengthen the joints.

Shin splints are common and can be one of the most debilitating running injuries. One way to prevent shin splints is by running in the correct shoes. Visit somewhere like Boulder Running Company or Fleet Feet in Boulder and have an expert help you find the right running shoes for you.

Iliotibial band syndrome is a burning in the knee or hip. This is most prevalent on the day of a race. The best way to prevent ITBS is to stretch. If you begin to feel burning in your hip down to the knee, stretch the injured leg. If the right leg is in pain, cross the left leg over the right and lean toward the left side while holding onto something for balance. Hold for at least 10 seconds and repeat. Also, anti-inflammatory drugs will help with the swelling.

Pulled muscles, such as a pulled hamstring or quad, can be just as painful as many other injuries. Typically, a runner will pull a muscle due to overexerting or a lack of flexibility in the muscle area. Stretching before and after every run is important when trying to prevent pulled muscles.

A common injury many marathoners suffer through is blisters on the feet. Oftentimes, these are caused by friction mixed with extra moisture. A great way to avoid painful blisters is to purchase synthetic socks. And, again, make sure you run in the correct shoes.

The best way to prevent these injuries is by training at a healthy pace. Don’t overexert yourself or push past your capabilities. Listen to your body: If you do feel the symptoms of an injury, stop and take care of yourself before going farther.

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