5 Steps to Running and Injury Prevention

5 Steps to Running and Injury prevention

Beautiful British Columbia! It’s that time of year when the sun is shining, the mountains are calling and you’re itching to be running outdoors. We live in the perfect city for this.

Here are some tidbits you don’t want to forget while you are out being active to prevent most injuries and make the most of your time.

  1. Warm-up and cool-down: Dynamic stretching prepares your body for the physical demand which you will be placing on it. It is extremely important that we warm up the muscles we will be using and in the movement pattern required for the activity e.g. a controlled leg swing, a brisk walk and a light jog before starting a longer run can prevent muscle strains or tears. Static stretching is ideal 10-20minuts post exercise once muscles have had a chance to slightly cool down. Stretches should be held anywhere from 30seconds to until you feel your muscle ‘sigh’. Stretching in general can increase the elasticity in your muscles and in turn help produce more power and prevent injury.
  2. Benefits of Cross-training: Cross-training involves performing other activities to help improve a dominant sport/activity e.g. strength exercises and have a critical role in improving the endurance component required for our longer distance runners.
  3. Pacing: Making sure you have gradual progressions build into your training schedule is very important in injury prevention. Part of pacing involves setting SpecificMeasurableAttainableRealisticTimely goals.  As much as we benefit from taxing our aerobic and anaerobic systems, we make huge gains by letting our body recover from those bouts of exercise so planning ‘rest’ days is crucial (fyi, rest comes in all shapes and forms).
  4. Nutrition: not only is it important to eat healthy but making sure you hydrate is crucial especially in hotter and humid conditions. Water should be drunk before the thirst feeling arrives. Having a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals will help to maintain a chemical balance and promote healthy muscles.
  5. Listen to your body and make exercise fun!!


Journal Article:

  • Willem van Mechelen, 
  • Hynek Hlobil, 
  • Han C.G. Kemper, 
  • Wim J. Voorn,
  • and H. Rob de Jongh

Prevention of running injuries by warm-up, cool-down, and stretching exercisesAm J Sports Med September 1993 21 711-719;doi:10.1177/036354659302100513




Leading Article

Sports Medicine

January 1995, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1-8

First online: 07 October 2012

Benefits and Practical Use of Cross-Training in Sports

  • Steven F. Loy
  • , James J. Hoffmann
  • , George J. Holland

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