Guest Post: Dr. Dad’s Five Tips To Injury Prevention

by Matt on January 23, 2011

Hey everyone! I have one more guest for you this weekend from ! We will be back to your regularly scheduled programming this evening ;)

As a runner, I’m lucky to have one indispensable tool at my disposal: Dr. Dad! My dad has been an orthopedic for over thirty years now, and he’s my go-to person whenever I have any training questions or pains. I thought I’d pick his brain for some running injury prevention tips to share with you all!

1. Cross train. This is Dr. Dad’s single most important piece of advice. It’s easy to get enthusiastic about a newfound love for running or any other form of exercise, but by cross-training you not only prevent excessive stress on your bones, you also strengthen less-frequently used muscles. Balance activities like running, biking and swimming with low-impact cross-training machines like the elliptical or ArcTrainer.

2. Strength train. Not only does building muscle improve overall performance, it’s also a huge factor in warding off injuries, or preventing re-injury. For runners, Dr. Dad advises that quad and hip strength are especially paramount- they protect your knees and IT band, respectively.

3. Wear proper shoes. It doesn’t matter if the shoes come in your favorite color or are on sale: what matters are how they fit and feel! Go to a running store to get fitted, and if you ever feel any kind of foot or lower leg pain, see a podiatrist or orthopedic- the solution may be as simple as a pair of orthotics. Similarly, if you have a bad gait, seek out advice from a coach or other expert. Correcting your form early keeps you from developing further bad habits.

4. Don’t increase mileage too quickly. This is something most runners know not to do, but it’s overemphasized for a reason. We all know to stretch and ice during a strenuous training week, but keep in mind that your bones need just as much TLC as your muscles- and taking it slow is the best way to give them that!

5. Know the difference between good and bad pain. Soreness is good pain, while sharp, shooting or consistent pain is bad. Make sure to give yourself plenty of rest days, and if something hurts, use good judgment. Wouldn’t you rather be sidelined for a month now, than for the rest of your life? If pain is unresponsive to rest, heat therapy, regular doses of acetaminophen painkillers, or seems to worsen with time, see a doctor!

There you have it- Dr. Dad’s Top Five Tips! Though I know many of them seem to be common sense, I know I’m not the only runner guilty of overlooking them occasionally and I hope you’ve all at least thought of injury prevention in a different light. Happy training, everyone!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

January 23, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Great tips!! If only I could learn to follow them… ;)

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January 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Thanks for the shoe reminder, I’m always a sucker for a good sale!
Emily recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Great advice! I am finally understanding the importance of cross-training and strength training. Ultimately, I hope to run for years and years, so I need to heed this advice.
Becky recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Great advice-i’m constantly reminding my clients of the importance of those top 5′s!
Kristina @ Life as Kristina recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Such great tips!! I am going to start to cross train! Thanks! :D
Kathleen @ Kat’s Health Corner recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Yes, they are common sense, and yes, we all ignore them! Thanks for the reminder! :)
Terri recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Great tips! Something every runner should read. :)
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January 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I’m so cheap that the last pair of shoes I bought probably weren’t the best ones for my feet- I got them because they were on sale. I think it’s so important to have good shoes. Unfortunately I don’t heed that advice!
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January 23, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Yay thanks so much for posting this!
Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Thanks dr Dad! What a great post :)
Lisa (bakebikeblog) recently posted..My ComLuv Profile

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January 23, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Lack of cross train or strength training is what hurt me during marathon training. Maaaaybe increasing too fast did too. I’ll definitely take all the advice for the next half-marathon! :-)
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