This past weekend, I injured myself running. You would think that I would know better, but I fall prey to the same bad habits as anyone else. While I will recover from my injury in a week or so with no ill effects, I will miss some of my normal training this week.
I have done a great deal of power work this summer– I have run with a partner and we are both competitive guys–longer runs, sprints, interval training, and hill work have all been part of our summer workouts. Taking it up a notch is fine, but this is the time when individuals are most prone to injury, as I so clearly demonstrated. What could I have done differently? What should you do?
- Space your intense activities and give your body recovery time–this is essential when you tax muscle groups to higher limits.
- Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before you begin intense training. The same is true for the cool down period.
- Stretch again in between sessions. I have stretched for 10 minutes most nights before bed. I notice this helps my muscles when I exercise.
- As cooler temperatures approach make sure you cover your muscles appropriately. Although your thigh and leg muscles warm up as you exercise, cooler temperatures may reduce blood flow to extremities during breaks when interval training or running sprints. This can increase the risk of injury and may make your muscles seize and cramp. You can avoid this by wearing compression tights and or warm breathable shells.
Some times muscles will cramp and knot regardless of care. What to do when this happens?
- Ice the area.
- Use Traumeel (oral and topical) immediately and throughout the day to reduce inflammation.
- Certain herbal supplements and enzymes can speed healing. Speak to your chiropractic physician about this.
- Rest the muscle. You don’t need to be a couch potato, but use the muscle as your guide. If it hurts, listen to your pain and allow proper healing to occur to avoid long-term injury.
Keep up the training.