Injury Prevention for Runners

by Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife on September 2, 2014

in Blog, Guest Post

Today I have an important guest post for you from Jenna at Little Green Running Shoes. The post is about staying injury free while running! Enjoy!


 

Running is one of my favorite hobbies and ways to exercise.  Since the beginning of my running career, I have been very fortunate to only have a few minor injuries, one of which was a recent micro-fracture in my foot while training for a half marathon.  Each injury has taught me to be more attentive to my body and has helped me to learn new methods for preventing future injury.

Training for a race is an amazing, enlightening, and liberating way to exercise that can burn calories, strengthen, and tone simultaneously. It requires hours of dedication, research, and experimentation to learn how your body can run at its maximum potential.  It also can wreak havoc on your body if you do not take the proper precautions. Below are a few good ways that runners can prevent injuries.

Injury Prevention For Runners

– Shoes -

 

Having the correct shoes can make all the difference in your training. While you are training, your feet are going to take a beating (literally), so be nice to them and invest in a good pair of running shoes.  Consider going to a specialty running store instead of just going to a department store.  The prices will be comparable to other stores and you can rest easy knowing you have the proper shoes.  They are trained to help fit your shoes and make sure you are in the proper shoes based on your arch and pronation (either rolling in or out).

A running store should be able to give you a gait analysis to make sure you are fitted in the perfect shoes for you.  A gait analysis is used to study your body mechanics, uncover any issues, and observe your stride.  All you have to do is walk or jog on a treadmill and someone will be able to figure your feet out!  It is really important not to use your running shoes for any other activities other than your regular runs.  Shoes have a limited lifetime and you will need to replace them fairly frequently.  If you only use your running shoes to run, it will extend durability and usable life.  If you wear your running shoes to the gym, you will soften the soles and lose a lot of the cushioning you need to protect your joints from impact.

Injury Prevention for Runners

- Yoga -

 

As a runner, yoga has made all the difference in my life.  I heavily rely on my yoga practice to complement and improve my running.  A yoga practice is comprised of several series of strength and balance poses with concentration on breathing.  Yoga allows a runner to explore muscular groups that are not typically utilized in training, but will be very beneficial for strengthening overall performance.  A yoga practice will improve a runner’s balance which can be helpful for trail running, agility training, and speed.

Your practice can emphasize focus on particular areas of the body.  I suggest focusing on the lower body and core to improve running up hills and leg endurance.  For help maintaining an open chest and creating more space for breathing, focus on the upper body and chest. The concentration on breathing in yoga can seem odd and uncomfortable to anyone new to practicing, but the benefits are substantial. Finding the ability to control your breathing will help you monitor your pace while climbing a hill, increase your oxygen intake for sprints, and stabilize your breath faster.  Even if the physical aspects of yoga are not for you, deep breathing exercises with help you make significant improvements in your running.

Injury Prevention for Runners

- Hydration -

 

Staying hydrated can affect every aspect of your training.  If your body is dehydrated (most people operate in some state of dehydration regularly), you are more prone to illness, injury, and soreness.  You will not be able to recover as quickly, train as proficiently, or continue to run for lengthy amounts of time.  Re-hydrating after your run is not the only time you should be monitoring your liquids.  While you are training, your body will constantly need water.  You should average 8-12 cups of water on a regular day with modification depending on the weather, your activity level, and the needs of your body.  On running days, begin your hydration as soon as you wake up, and don’t drink too much at one time or right before you train.  After you return home, make sure to drink at least two full glasses of water and possibly more, depending on how much you were sweating.  Don’t chug, but also don’t let a long amount of time pass before drinking.

- Supplements -

 

Water is not the only thing you should concentrate on while training. Your diet will need to be adjusted to ensure your body has all of the best nutrients to perform at the optimum level.  This is one aspect of training where I have not been very diligent in the past and has led to most of my injuries.  My micro-fractured foot was due to an iron and omega 3 deficit.  Fish oil is a vital addition to a runner’s diet during training since it decreases inflammation and pain while boosting the immune system to prevent illness.  Runners should also add a multivitamin and an iron vitamin to prevent bone density loss or risk of fractures.  In addition to supplements, I highly suggest increasing your daily caloric intake, particularly your carbohydrates and protein.

- Post-Run Stretching -

 

Stretching is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of exercise.  For some people, it is the most difficult part of being a runner. Some don’t see the purpose and others find it too painful to try.  Stretching at the end of your run relaxes the muscles, allows the heart rate to lower, helps the body to recover faster (less soreness), encourages muscles to rebuild, and increases joint range of motion.  Practicing yoga will help you learn correct stretching methods for your body under the supervision of an expert.  The more frequently you stretch, the more flexible you will become and the less painful stretching will be.

- Plan Ahead -

 

This may seem like a very trivial and obvious point, but I can not emphasize enough the importance of planning ahead.  Accidents happen to everyone but can happen more easily if we are not prepared.  Map your route ahead of time and bring a phone or GPS just in case you get lost. The Road I.D. app is my favorite running app because it allows you to send tracking emails to friends or family so someone can know your exact location.  The app also has a safety feature that, if you stand still for more than five minutes, it will automatically call your emergency contact or 911.

Always have some form of identification on your body, I never run without my Road I.D bracelet and my phone.  Know what the weather is supposed to be and dress accordingly (approximately 20 degree warmer than current temperature is the best rule of thumb).  Pack water and snacks for long runs or plan your water stops along your route.  Know where public bathrooms are located, just in case.  Know the terrain of your route so you can pace yourself.

Running is a journey that will push you to your limits and test your perseverance.  It will also show you things about yourself you never knew, and open you up to a whole new world of adventures. We are always prone to injury but being prepared, knowing your body, and taking care of yourself significantly decreases the risks.  Have patience with yourself and your body.  Success doesn’t happen overnight but is worth working for.  Always stay positive and keep the finish line in sight!

Injury Prevention for Runners

So Tell Us

What do you do to prevent injury while running?

{ 2 comments }

ICYMI: August

by Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife on September 1, 2014

in Blog

As we say goodbye to August we say hello to new beginnings for Eric and I.

We now own a home!

It’s crazy to even think about. I’m sure this also means you will see some changes around here as well. Wedding posts will be exchanged for home posts, DIY projects, more recipes and life as a Mrs.

I hope you are willing to continue this journey with me.

Today, let’s take a look back at the end of this “old” chapter.

ICYMI: August | It's a Harleyyy Life

Wedding

Wedding Friday: Introductions, First Dances and Speeches.
Wedding Friday: Reception Decorations
Wedding Friday: Cocktail Setup
Wedding Friday: Dance the Night Away
Wedding Friday: Recap

Food

WIAW Macronutrients Week 5
What’s in My Grocery Bag
WIAW 8.13.14
WIAW 8.20.14
Meal Prep Thursday 8.21.14
WIAW 8.27.14
National Trail Mix Day

CrossFit

My CrossFit Dream Team
5 Terms to Know Before You Walk Into a CrossFit Gym

Saturday Shares

Saturday Shares #9
Saturday Shares #10
Saturday Shares # 11
Saturday Shares #12
Saturday Shares #13

Other

I finally feel…
An Easy Way to House Hunt

5 Reasons to Get a Dog
25 Things You Don’t Know About Me
Dream Home
Runtastic Orbit Review

Now tell me

What was your favorite post of mine this month?

{ 3 comments }

National Trail Mix Day

by Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife on August 31, 2014

in Food, Recipes

Today is… National Trail Mix Day! I don’t celebrate a lot of these holidays… except for the ones that have to do with food or dogs, of course! I probably wouldn’t even celebrate this one either but I made the best trail mix a couple of weeks ago that I just had to tell you guys about!

Nutty Chip Trail Mix | It's a Harleyyy Life

I made a big bag of it for the last CrossFit Competition I was in and have been thinking about it ever since.

Test Your Metal | It's a Harleyyy Life

Test Your Metal CrossFit Competition in Allentown, Pennsylvania

The secret to trail mix is the following: Take all of your favorite foods and put them in one bag. That can get messy so maybe just stick to nuts, spices, dried fruits and chocolate/peanut butter chips.

Nutty Chip Trail Mix | It's a Harleyyy Life

When I make trail mix, I use the bulk section at the grocery store. This is perfect because I can just dump however much I want into the bag.

Nutty Chip Trail Mix | It's a Harleyyy Life

Okay, back to the recipe.

Nutty Chip Trail Mix

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Nutty Chip Trail Mix

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup of Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/3 Cup of Diced Walnuts
  • 1/3 Cup of Unsalted Peanuts
  • 1/4 Cup of Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup of Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon.
  3. Spread the mixture onto a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture around every 10 minutes.
  5. Let the trail mix cool before adding the chocolate/peanut butter chips.
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Nutty Chip Trail Mix | It's a Harleyyy Life

Some More Yummy Trail Mix Recipes

 

 

Now tell me

What are some of your favorite nuts, toppings, etc to put together to make trail mix?

{ 3 comments }

Saturday Shares #13

by Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife on August 30, 2014

in Blog, Saturday Shares

I might be busy getting things painted/cleaned/moved into our new home but one thing is for sure, I haven’t been forgetting about all of you lovely people!

Saturday Shares | It's a Harleyyy Life

The Saturday Share posts have started to be one of my favorite posts each week. I love sharing awesome content from other bloggers that I have read the past couple of weeks! I hope you guys are enjoying it too!

Running/Workout

Adapting to Weather Changes: 10 Tips to Help Training in Heat <–I have been sharing Tina’s whole series! Great tips!
5 Favorite Exercises for Strong Shoulders<—some favs at the gym!
Secrets to Success: 8 Minutes to a Stronger Core <–I have 8 minutes! Do you?

Food

23 Healthy Recipes for Fall<—EEEK she said the f word… not me (:
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes<—mmmmm!
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownie Bars <—YES PLEASE!
Basic Guide to Eat to Perform<—interesting stuff!
Recipe Redux #11: Chunky Monkey Cookie Dough Bites<—-I love bites of anything and everything!
Sweet Potato Energy Bites<—ooo and sweet potatoes!
10 Quick, Easy and Healthy Dinner Recipes<—perfect!

Home

15 Ways To Use Mason Jars In The Kitchen<—I loveeee mason jars!

Now tell me

Do you like the Saturday Share posts? Tell me about a post you read this week that you loved!

{ 3 comments }

Wedding Friday: Recap

August 29, 2014

It just doesn’t feel right to leave the last Friday of the month out from a wedding post right? Plus, I am sure ya’ll love wedding recaps! I also find this quite funny since my wedding posts are ending the week we are starting a new chapter in our lives! We are officially home owners […]

Keep on reading!

Runtastic Orbit Review

August 28, 2014

Disclaimer: I was provided the Runtastic Orbit for free in exchange for this review through Runtastic and Sweat Pink. If you could describe this past summer in the healthy living world in a couple of words it would be: Fitness Tracker. Man have they been HOT! There’s not a lot of places you can go anymore […]

Keep on reading!

5 Terms To Know Before You Walk Into a CrossFit Gym

August 26, 2014

Enter to win $500 to Reebok.com here! Today is National Dog Day! Of course I have to celebrate since I have the two cutest dogs in the world! Yes, you can agree because it is true! First there’s this stud… and then this cutie pie.. ADORBS! That is truly the only word for it! I’ll […]

Keep on reading!

Win $500 in Reebok’s Fall Fitness Giveaway

August 25, 2014

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I could really use these bad boys right now…. Yah, they are the Reebok Nano 4.0′s. Is there something you want from Reebok.com? If so, do you want to get it for free with a […]

Keep on reading!