Thursday, May 28, 2009

Running injuries and treatment.

Take it and Run Thursday topic: Running injuries and treatment. OK, Runners' Lounge, I'll give you what I've got!

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I have a nagging, painful injury: a bunion on the big toe of my right foot. That one is chronic. Chronic, annoying and, after stopping the yoga, not getting much worse. But not getting better, either. There is little I can do (aside from avoiding high heels and using my yoga toes) while waiting for my appointment with the podiatrist but when I finally do get in to see that Magic Foot Doctor, and he magically takes away all my pain, I'll be sure to share whatever I learn.

Until then, what do I have for you? Well, you may recall that I've had several other minor running injuries that, unlike the bunion, have come and gone in a flash. If, that is, you consider a day or two a flash, which, when referring to running injuries, I do. Yes, aside from a twisted ankle last fall (which was a shopping, not running, injury) none of the injuries have kept me from running for long.

I believe that I owe my (mostly) injury-free running to the following:

  • Rolling -- not stretching -- before a run. This may make some people cringe but, for me, stretching before running just wasn't working. My muscles need to be warmed up before I can stretch so I use The Stickto roll out my out my legs pre-run and save my stretches for afterward.
  • Sitting on a tennis ball. OK, the humble tennis ball may just be my favorite running gadget of all. For real. At the first sign of a tight ITB, hip, or hamstring, I'm on the ball. Nothing works better (well, maybe weekly massages would but that's not in the cards . . .)!
  • Resting when necessary. What I have found is that rest is often necessary. I rarely run more than three days in a row and never more than four. That's what works for me. My body operates best when I balance quality runs with rest. And when I feel an injury coming on, I'm not afraid to take an extra day (or more) off. I would much rather skip a run or two than a month of running.
  • Taking on the hills. Maybe it isn't normal to love hills as much as I do but I swear by them. Hilly routes, hill repeats, hill fartleks -- I love them all. I believe that hills helps improve your form and strength and when you run them for speed, there is much less impact on your legs so the workouts are less taxing on your body. Hills are your friends!
That's what works for me right now. I hope some of it can work for you, too!

~ Felice

12 comments:

Abby said...

Can you talk a little bit more about this whole 'sitting on the tennis ball' thing?

The Happy Runner said...

Abby -- sure. I'll post what I do (my tennis ball routine!) either later tonight or tomorrow.

I Run for Fun said...

Very interesting techniques!

jillwillrun said...

I was going to ask the same thing as Abby... more explanation on the tennis ball thing! I've just started using a foam roller because my IT bands have started getting tighter. That's been super-painful, but also helpful. I'd love to hear more on the tip you mentioned!

Roisin said...

Thanks! I am a tennis ball fan myself, and it's good to know that other people use it too!

joyRuN said...

I use a racquetball at work when I'm in pain. I get funny looks, but at least I'm not breaking out a big ol' foam roller!

REST - I'm terrible about that one :)

lindsay said...

i think i need a video of the tennis ball treatment! sometimes i have an ache deep in my butt but i don't think i know how to sit on a tennis ball properly. :)

Heather said...

I love all those tricks. I recommended the tennis ball to someone at work today and they looked at me like I was crazy. If only they would just try it . . .

Marci said...

I looovvee the tennis ball. I agree about the rolling too, I think it really makes a difference in your running.

Diana said...

Rolling muscles and tennis balls? I had no idea. There's a whole nother world out there I just don't know! lol.

sports said...

Hi,

We have just added your latest post "Running injuries and treatment." to our Directory of Sports . You can check the inclusion of the post here . We are delighted to invite you to submit all your future posts to the directory and get a huge base of visitors to your website.


Warm Regards

Sportstrove.info Team

http://www.sportstrove.info

J said...

I hate stretching before runs too! I might have to pick up one of those sticks to use and see how it works!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...