Blisters, Shin Splints and Pulled Muscles – Oh My

Running poses some risk of injury.   Your knees and feet bear the brunt of the action with your knees alone taking 700-1000 pounds of impact.  Per step.  Ye-ouch e momma!

As a runner who’s run marathons, half-marathons and other races I have experienced my fair share of injuries (big and small).  Here are a few common runner’s ailments and what you can do to prevent them or at least minimize the risk!

Blisters

These painful pockets of fluid can stop a runner cold.  The key to avoid blisters is prevention.  Wear moisture-wicking socks,  apply a very thin lubricant such as Vaseline between the toes and on the bottom of the feet and make sure your shoes are right for your feet.

Shin Splints

This ailment is usually caused by overtraining.   The key to preventing shin splints is to be sure and warm up adequately by walking before you begin to run.  Also doing some calf and toe raise exercises will help.

Pulled Muscles

Overuse, weakness and under training can cause pulled muscles.  Huh?  That’s right.  If you have a weak spot, such as hamstrings that you are not strengthening properly and you increase your mileage that muscle can’t handle the load and will tear.  Building proper strength is key as is adequately warming up and building your training smartly is the key to staying pull-free. 

Illiotibial-Band Sydrome

Odds are if you are a runner you know exactly where this beauty is.   For those not in the know, your IT-band is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from the top of your hip to your outside knee cap.  It becomes inflamed (read:  painful) from overuse, increase in activity and weakness.  Ways you can prevent this very painful affliction is to stretch properly after each run, increase mileage slowly, use a foam roller a few times a week to loosen up the ITB and avoid running on banked roads (this causes the pelvis to tilt creating imbalance).

Knee Pain

As I mentioned earlier, knee pain can occur with running.  Women are especially prone to knee problems due to bio-mechanics of our hip bones and pelvis region coupled with the fact that we women inherently have weaker muscles.   Adding mileage slowly, proper shoe fit, strength training and stretching are a few ways to keep your knees healthy.

In the event that you do get injured and are not getting better with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation) contact your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Most importantly, if you get hurt during a run,  you DO NOT want to run through the pain.  Stop immediately.

Now go run.

Keli

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