How to Prevent the Most Common Running Injuries


By Zachary Mendelson, Assistant Reporter

As an athlete who’s been running for 3 years, I’ve encountered multiple injuries and have learned a lot about how to treat and prevent these injuries. I started running in the winter and was very inexperienced about the sport, and I wish I knew about these tips as they could have saved me from a lot of pain and injury recovery. Although these tips are from a running perspective, they can still be helpful to any athlete.

The top 3 running injuries are Achilles Tendonitis, Shin splints, and plantar fasciitis. Injuries like these can become serious, and sometimes require time off from your sport which can be tough. The 3 best ways to prevent and treat these injuries are noticing signs and symptoms early on, stretching regularly, and staying hydrated.

The first way to prevent an injury is to recognize there’s something wrong early on. Noticing the signs and symptoms of injury early on can reduce the chances of worsening the injury and reduce your time off from your sport. Listen to your body, and ask yourself if your pain is because you’re working hard or because of an underlying condition. If you notice something is wrong with your body, or something hurts out of the ordinary, tell your coaches and the trainer as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse.

The second way to prevent an injury is to stretch. One of the worst things you could do to your body is to not stretch properly. Some sports do group stretches at the beginning or end of practice, but that’s never enough. Make sure to incorporate stretching into your daily routine. After practice or a workout, try stretching for an extra 15 minutes. You could stretch while waiting to be picked up, watching TV, or any other time. Stretching helps with your flexibility, loosening up your muscles, and quickening recovery. Overworking without stretching properly can cause: your muscles to tighten up, a buildup of lactic acid, soreness and pain, and eventually injuries like the ones mentioned. A runner should regularly stretch their quads, hamstrings, hips, and calves. Many stretching guides for specific muscles can be found online.

The third way to prevent an injury is to stay properly hydrated. Although you may not think hydrating is important, it is one of the key parts of keeping yourself physically fit, energetic, and free from injuries. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces 0f water every day, making sure to drink lots of water 2 to 3 hours before exercising, and lots of water right after exercising. In addition to water, it’s important to also add some electrolytes to your drink. You could add electrolyte powder or Himalayan salt to your beverage. Electrolytes are important because they can replenish the minerals you sweat out while exercising, which are essential for your body and muscles to function.

In conclusion, the best ways to prevent and treat the 3 common injuries such as Achilles Tendonitis, Shin splints, and plantar fasciitis, along with others not mentioned, are to recognize signs that something is wrong early on, to stretch regularly, and to hydrate properly. I hope these tips can help you be injury free and feel excellent during your athletic seasons.