4 Tips for Injury Prevention & Optimal Training
The Malibu VRTL Half Marathon 12-Week training season has officially started as of August 17 and the Malibu VRT 5K 8-Week training season is about to begin September 14 (you can download the FREE training plans here).
In order to get to the finish line in top shape, we asked our partner "Evolution Physical Therapy" for training tips that will help you prevent injuries as well as make your running style stronger.
1. Dynamic warm-up
A good warm-up routine will get your body warm, but will also get your muscles and joints primed for the run. An appropriate warm-up should start with dynamic mobility drills followed by running-specific drills.
If you have any particularly problematic areas that you've been working on with a Physical Therapist or coach, start with those first. Areas to focus on could include hamstrings, hip flexors, feet and ankles and running-specific drills that focus on different components of the stride such as dynamic lunges, high knees, butt kicks, A-skips and cariocas.
2. General Strength Training essentials
It's well-understood that strength training is beneficial for runners. These benefits include: Decrease in injury risk while also increasing running economy. The challenge for most of us is finding ways to fit it in with our busy work and life schedules along with training for our race.
The key to building strength training into your running program is being efficient and not overdoing it to compliment your running plan. Choose three exercises (squat, deadlift, lunge, step up, etc.) and do 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps with a moderate to heavy weight. That will be enough of a stimulus to give you the benefits of strength training without taking away from your runs. Here you can find examples of different strength training exercises:
3. Long Run Rule
Sometimes life gets in the way and you have to skip a run (or few) and that is okay! However, it is also important to be mindful of your long run distance in relation to your total weekly mileage.
If you’ve missed a couple consecutive runs, it can be beneficial to adjust your long run distance to be shorter to help prevent injury from taking on too much too soon after less mileage.
4. Training Load Management
No matter what level of runner you are, you need to stress the body just enough to create an adaptation to make progress. If you stress your body too much without giving yourself adequate rest, injuries and burnout occur.
If you stress yourself too little, then you don’t make any progress. You have to factor in your previous running history, your most recent running history and other stresses in your life. Stress is stress.