The South Florida runners are in the final stretch of their training as both amateur and novice athletes prepare for the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon on January 25, after months of training.
All sports activities require preparation with stretching exercises and to warm up the muscles, as well as proper hydration throughout the entire route. But running marathons can be especially punishing for joints, muscles and overall health due to the repetitive impact and so-called “overuse injuries”.
The climate and location of South Florida make it the ideal destination for distance events such as marathons and triathlons. But temperate to hot weather combined with the well-known humidity of the area can affect both beginners and experienced runners.
The marathon training programs offered by South Florida running clubs teach warm-up exercises and proper training routines to achieve the physical condition required for a half marathon or a full marathon. But even runners who train on their own can learn how to stay healthy by following certain rules.
Here are 5 tips for running without injury.
1. Avoid doing too much, too soon
Too much can be a terrible word – doing too much, too soon and too fast. The body needs time, rest and adequate nutrition to reach the level that is required for long-term events such as marathons. Muscles and joints need to recover through the typical 6-month training program for a marathon.
The 10 percent rule works well: increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent. But even this guideline may turn out to be too much for some people. Joining a running club is the best way to ensure that you do not run your hand in your training because runners are classified according to their level of experience and coaches can track their progress while teaching appropriate stretching techniques, to warm up and to cool down.
2. Adequate hydration / nutrition
South Florida is notorious for its heat and humidity and long distance runners must be very careful to stay adequately hydrated during all phases of training, as well as during the event itself. Learn how to measure your “level of sweating” which is based on the amount of fluid your body loses after an hour of exercise. By calculating your level of sweating, you can better evaluate the amount you must take to replace the lost fluids and thus help prevent injuries. Proper nutrition is the key to overall health. Long-distance runners have to replenish calories and need more carbohydrates than most people. That’s because the muscles eat mainly carbohydrates when you run fast. But runners need to get the right carbohydrates at the right time. Running clubs can help you with nutrition tips, as well as dietitians or your primary care physician.
3. Listen to your body
Most of the injuries caused by running, which commonly have to do with the knees, feet (nebacetin carne esponjosa), Achilles tendon or hamstring, do not appear suddenly. These injuries usually present warning signs of slow development, which should not be ignored. Normally these signs include pain, swelling or persistent pain. It is up to each runner to pay attention to these signals and see a doctor before a serious injury can develop. If the signs persist after adequate rest and ice / heat treatments, a doctor may recommend physical therapy. “The most important thing is that you should never let the pain go too far before seeking help,” said Dr. Hodgkins. “Most of the time, your body lets you know when it’s time to stop,
4. Get the right shoes for running
Do not underestimate the importance of proper running shoes, especially for marathon runners. It is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of injuries caused by running involve the feet. Plantar fasciitis, small tears or inflammation of the tendons and ligaments from the heels to the toes, is usually the number one complaint among runners. Those runners with very high or very low arches are more vulnerable, so properly fitted running shoes are vital for athletes over long distances. There is not a single shoe that is better for runners. You must find the shoe that best supports and fits your feet.
5. Monitor your progress / set goals
Detailed training records and periodic goals can help you avoid overuse injuries. Keeping a diary of how it went and how you felt during your long training can help you determine if a visit to the doctor is necessary. For example, you may notice that during a weekend your knees started to hurt. If the pain gets worse, then you have an accurate record to share with your doctor about the beginning and duration of the pain. Monitor your progress and set realistic goals are important tools to maintain the proper pace of training and avoid common injuries.