Runners Can Avoid Running Injuries
Masters Running Books
Masters runners are perhaps more susceptible to injuries than younger runners.
As a result these older runners should be aware of this increased potential for
injuries and should take precautions to avoid these potential injuries. However,
it is not advisable for these runners to quit running altogether. This is an
important consideration because the benefits of running later in life far
outweigh the potential consequences of running after the age of 40. For example
running can be very beneficial in helping to combat many of the signs of aging
including bone and muscle loss. By running regularly the muscles are constantly
challenged and continue to remain strong at a time when non-runners of a similar
age may find they are having difficulty retaining muscle mass. Similarly, bone
loss is typically prevalent with age but the repetitive pounding of running is
actually good for helping to strengthen bones and regular running can result in
the runner maintaining significantly more bone mass than others his age who do
not run regularly. This article will take a look at some of the injuries common
in masters runners and will offer advice for avoiding these injuries.
One of the injuries which are very common among masters runners are overuse
injuries such as stress fractures and shin splints. These types of injuries
typically result because the runner is attempting to run too much or too often.
Avoiding these injuries can be as simple as incorporating adequate rest days
into the training program. Rest days are particularly important after a workout
which was particularly difficult or taxing. For example interval training or
hill training should be followed by a rest day to ensure the muscles and joints
have adequate time to recover from these harsh workouts.
The type of training surface can also have an impact on the potential for
injuries in masters runners. Harder surfaces such as concrete and asphalt result
in a greater amount of shock being introduced to the body with each stride. This
can be damaging to the joints and older runners are advised to seek out softer
running surfaces whenever possible. Rubberized tracks and trails are often
better options for masters runners. However, not all tails are likely to be easy
on the joints. Some trails may consist of hard packed dirt which can be almost
as harsh as concrete or asphalt.
Masters runners should also try to incorporate stretching into their regular
exercise regime. This can be difficult especially for older runners who have
been running for years and have never bothered to stretch. Runners are notorious
for being extremely inflexible. This is largely because the repetitive running
motion causes the muscles to tighten and shorten. When this happens it can be
difficult to stretch the muscle sufficiently. This problem is also likely
compounded by years of not stretching properly. However, masters runners can
begin stretching regularly and will likely notice an improvement in flexibility
over time as long as they are diligent about stretching on a regular basis. One
way to make stretching easier is to do a short warm up run before attempting to
stretch. This can be useful because the muscles will be more pliable at this
time and will also likely be more receptive to stretching.