How to Prevent Running Injuries

If you want to keep moving, you have to stay healthy.
If you want to keep moving, you have to stay healthy.
©iStockphoto/Richard Waters

If you love running and the mental and physical benefits it provides, then you know how frustrating injuries can be. They present a painful obstacle to overall fitness and the enjoyment of a popular hobby. Many running aficionados go a step further and call it a way of life which helps them experience nature, relieve stress, think through important events of the day and connect with fellow athletes in an atmosphere of healthy camaraderie. In short, when an injury interrupts their running routine, it also threatens to undermine the way they approach their lives.

Additionally, running injuries threaten to undermine an athlete's goals. When an important race is three months away and your doctor prescribes two months' worth of treatment and rehabilitation, it can become a physical impossibility to achieve a particular finish time. Highly competitive runners --whether they're Olympic-caliber or simply age-groupers hoping to qualify for a big race like the Boston Marathon -- know that they have to reach their fitness peak at specified times. Race organizers who host thousands of runners certainly don't alter their plans to meet the needs of an athlete dealing with an unfortunate setback.

Fortunately there is a wealth of research that has been done on the causes of running-related injuries: from the back to the hip to knees, ankles and feet. People, after all, have been running since the dawn of time. Running injuries are usually treatable, and what's more, the vast majority of these maladies can be prevented in the first place.

Running enthusiasts would certainly, as the old saying goes, take an ounce of prevention over a pound of cure. Well, we can offer more than just an ounce of prevention. Jog on over to the next page to get a complete dose of insights on the matter.