Book review: RW Guide to Injury Prevention

I don’t read a lot. Books anyway. I like to read things online..I’m a huge Googler. Before getting hooked like a crack fiend into running however, I read the Runner’s World Guide to Injury Prevention. Many of my runner friends are injured or have been injured…and I know I have the usual ache and pain here and there along with a pesky cyst now. This book was uber helpful to discuss form and ways to prevent injuries from even happening, as best can be expected. I thought a ton of info would be helpful, so here’s my cliffs’ notes version without giving the whole book away (and getting put in time-out for it):

Runner’s World Guide to Injury Prevention:
How to Identify Problems, Speed Healing, and Run Pain-Free (Runner’s World Guides)
by Dagny Scott Barrios

1) Posture – Stand up straight and be sure to not hunch over (especially those of us with breathing issues.) Make sure to relax your shoulders and arms and try to keep elbows at a 90 degree angle. Don’t shuffle your feet and be sure to avoid landing on your forefoot or heel too much; over time practice landing midfoot. Sometimes I know that music is a huge help when running, but when I can I try to avoid it; listening to your body helps you focus on form.
2) Shoes – I’ve preached this with many a’ running friend/newbie as I’ve had to learn my own lessons. Get your feet fit at a local running store to see if you need stability/neutral/trail shoes…overpronate or supinate! Especially when you come back from an injury, your feets’ needs may change.
3) Crosstraining – making sure to keep your core, legs, arms, back, etc. strong is key to avoiding running injury too. I mean, how can you expect your legs to do all of the work? I at least try to cross train 2-3 times a week to ensure I’m keeping up with strength training and overall fitness. Spin, swimming, plyometrics: find what works for you. Strengthen the muscles that support running; remember that your arms can propel you forward 😉
4) Stretching – stretching is important. stretching is important. stretching is important. Hamstring, calf, hip flexor, quad, IT band – stretch them all and often! I often find that a yoga class a week even helps to get all of those stretches in. Stretching prevents injury! I haven’t invested in a foam roller (since we have one at our gym) but they are great for loosening tight muscles and getting all of that bad acid out of them too.
5) Running Conditions – beware rain, sleet, snow, and crazy heat & clowns! Seriously, though making sure to adjust your runs according to weather conditions is really important also. Here, in Florida aka the skillet, most of my runner pals and I avoid mid day runs. If we do run in the heat, we hydrate like a mother! Nuun is my friend as it gives great hydration and did I mention it has ZERO sugars! If you need sugar, there are plenty of hydration options for you too. Good ol’ water always comes in handy. When running in the cold, layer up to prevent wind chill and to stay warm. Listen to your body and don’t push too much when conditions are a little fiercer than normal.
6) What to do when already injured – RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) works for many injuries. Prevent blisters (I’m a pro at this now) by protecting your feet with many products out there that are available. (My favorite being 2 Toms Blister Shield.) Also, when coming back from an injury, be sure to look at distance first and intensity later.

With injuries in general, listen to your body. Seek medical assistance from an Orthopedic or Licensed Massage Therapist if needed. Play it safe!

(this review is solely based on what benefits I took from the book and it was not a free product for me, feel free to check it out for yourself for more detailed information)

Here’s a quick Injury Prevention pdf from Runner’s World

Any injury tips you’ve learned?

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    July 11, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Stretching and crosstraining are huge for me. I did neither of these when I got injured. I think getting uber cracked out was what led me astray. Did you get your bike or is that this weekend?

    • Reply
      July 11, 2012, 11:15 pm

      I get it this weekend! I’ll be back by the meeting up Sunday and then wanting to do Yoga Sunday in the park if weather holds up!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012, 12:50 am

    I have such bad hips; I feel like an experienced injured runner. I ended up having to sit out the Women’s Half last year because I overtrained and tried to increase speed and distance at the same time. I guess that would be what I’ve learned is that you can either increase speed or distance but not both at the same time. I sat out a month and a half and then ran a bunch of spring distance races. Now I’m working on increasing speed and maintaining distance and I still have IT band issues on my right side. I foam roll and ice on occasion, but I definitely need to do it more. Thanks for sharing all of these tips. I can always stand to remember stuff like this.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012, 1:32 am

    Great tips, thanks for sharing. I am an extremely injury prone runner, so I love reading tips on injury prevention. Fortunately, I’ve had a fairly injury free year (I hate to even say that out loud for fear of jinxing it!). I think not pushing my body too much has helped, not increasing speed and distance too quickly. Also trying to listen to my body and pay attention when something starts to not feel “right” and address it right away before it develops into something.

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