If you've been running regularly for a while, you may be thinking of increasing your mileage. Whether in preparation for a race or simply in an effort to be more active, adding more mileage to your weekly routine puts you at an increased risk of injury. To avoid being stuck on the couch with a stress fracture or runner's knee, follow these four tips while increasing your mileage.
Visit Your Chiropractor
Chiropractic care is especially important if you do most of your miles on the road or on the track. Roads and many tracks are banked, which means that when you run along them, one leg sits slightly lower than the other and is put under more strain. This may not be a big deal when you're only running a few miles per week, but once you increase your mileage, it can lead to ailments such as IT band syndrome, which causes pain in the outer knee. Your chiropractor can adjust your spine to ensure your hips are sitting evenly, which will help you avoid ITBS and other injuries.
Run on Soft Surfaces
Thirty miles per week on concrete or asphalt is a lot harder on your joints and bones than 30 miles per week on soft trails. Too much road running increases your risk of stress fractures and shin splints. When you first start increasing mileage, make sure your extra miles are on soft trails. This will give your body a chance to adapt. Over time, you can slowly transfer more of those miles to the road if you desire.
Wear Proper Shoes
You might have been able to get away with wearing ill-fitting or worn out shoes when running a mile or two per day, but when you increase your mileage, wearing the wrong shoes may lead to injury. Visit a running store, and let their technicians recommend shoes for you based on your stride, weight and foot shape. You'll notice the difference as soon as you step onto the road.
Make Sure You're Eating Enough
Even if you're trying to lose weight, it's essential to fuel your body properly, especially when increasing your mileage. Failing to eat enough calories increases the risk of stress fractures, especially for female athletes. Enter your information into a reliable calculator to calculate how much you should be eating, based on your height, weight, age, gender, and exercise habits. Remember to choose fresh, whole foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals, rather than processed, sugary foods.
Running is excellent exercise, and your bones and joints can adapt to the strain of increased mileage – as long as you treat them properly and increase your mileage slowly over time. Follow the tips above, and remember not to increase your mileage by more than 10% per week. Slow and steady is the name of the game. Speed will come later, once your body adapts.Share
19 January 2015
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