Finish Line Pics from 3 Marathons
January 2015 (top left)
January 2016 (top right)
October 2016 (bottom left)
When you start running, you increase your health and often increase your risk for injury. The best advice I have for avoiding injury is to not over-train and listen to your body. I had shin splints and plantar fasciitis after I trained and ran my first marathon. It took two months to heal from those injuries. I had to learn that I did not have to run at maximum capacity every single time I ran, and I had to make sure I included stretching and foam rolling into my daily plan. Cross training with core work, swimming, and biking also helped me come back from injury. Now that I have completed three marathons and am training for my fourth marathon, I have a training plan that accommodates more than just running. I have walking, strength training, stretching, and yoga to help me become a stronger runner.
If you find yourself injured, you need to listen to medical advice for healing. I had been on a running streak of 406 days without missing a day when I had to stop running every day in order to heal. It was hard mentally to stop the run streak, but I knew I had to do it. My goal is to be a life-long runner. I had to take a break and come back slowly from the injury.
There are many things you can do to prevent injury. I suggest you read books on running and training. If you have the budget, hiring a running coach can also help you stay injury-free. Wearing proper shoes has been instrumental in my ability to keep injuries to a minimum. I have to track the mileage I put on a pair of shoes, but I can usually tell by how my feet and legs feel when it is time for a new pair of shoes. I also rotate through several pairs of shoes each week. This helps the shoes dry out well and get their “spring” back before I run in them again. I was fitted at a running store for my shoes, and it made all the difference in how I recovered to have a pair of shoes made for my running stride and how I strike the ground.
Another way to lessen the chances of injury is to not compare yourself to what someone else can do. There will likely be people who are faster than you. If you try to keep up with them, you increase your chances of injury. I think my shin splints came from trying to keep pace with people who ran faster than I run. If I am doing that for an interval of a short distance, that it not too bad. But if I am trying to do it for a longer run, it can result in too much pressure when striking the ground. Also trying to increase mileage too rapidly can result in injury. You should only increase mileage by 10 to 15 percent each week for 3 weeks in a row. Then you should back off the increase for a week. This will give your body recovery time.