Are you an avid runner? Millions of people run every single day. More than 580,000 finish marathons every year in the U.S., not counting all of the runners who participate. Distance runners can get in amazing shape if they eat right and exercise correctly. However, if runners don’t train correctly, they can sustain injuries that can take them out for an entire year of running. Chiropractic rehabilitation, vibration therapy, cross training and other therapies can help prevent injuries and can keep runners strong all year.
Running the Numbers
Running Competitor reports that about 507,600 people ran marathons in the United States in 2016. That is about the same number that runs each year. Training for a marathon or simply running on a regular basis can take quite a lot of time and effort. A marathon itself is 26.2 miles and a half marathon is 13.1 miles. There are even ultra marathons that are 50 or 100 miles. To do these kinds of races, runners must train for months and even years in order to get their bodies used to running that much.
Unfortunately, many runners also sustain injuries with all that training because of uneven wear and tear on their muscles and joints. Common injuries that happen because of over-training without resting enough or from improper technique, diet or posture results in:
- IT Band Syndrome
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Runner’s Knee
- Stress Fractures
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Hamstring Injuries
- Pulled Muscles
- Ankle Sprains
A good rule of thumb is to not increase mileage by more than 10% as a runner that is training. This is where many injuries happen. Sometimes injuries strike runners even if they train perfectly. That is where chiropractic and rehabilitative therapy comes into play.
Therapies for Runners
We have many therapies that can help runners train and avoid injuries. Those include:
- Posture Rehabilitation and Balance Training: Posture and balance play an important role in your overall health, especially with runners. A centered and balanced skeletal position allows for the ease of movement and optimum functioning of the joints, which you want if you train most days. Those who run without good posture or balance can sustain bulging discs, muscle injuries, stiffness and more. Runners can have help with flexibility, range-of-motion, muscular integrity, cervical posture and proper running posture.
- Chiropractic Care: One of the best ways to have a balanced skeletal position is through a chiropractic adjustment. The back and spine carry the weight of the body and should follow a straight alignment. Without that, uneven pressure happens on the joints of the body, wearing them down and causing injury when too much pressure and misalignment builds up. Frequent chiropractic adjustments can prevent injury and can make for smoother training.
- Vibration Exercises: Training in the winter can be hard. When you can’t make it to the gym everyday for a long workout, you can try vibration therapy. This is a machine that runners stand on that uses vibration technology to work your muscles. Muscles vibrate, contracting and relaxing dozens of times per second. In just a few minutes, you can have better circulation and a full workout to your muscles, keeping them toned for the off-season.
- Physical Rehabilitation: Countless runners sustain injuries at one point or another. Those who choose customized physical therapy services for their injury can literally get up and running much quicker than those who don’t.
Tips for Home
Many runners slowly start into running and figure out training as they go. However, some tips will help when you start running, even if you have been a runner for a long time:
- Invest in a really good pair of running shoes. They will cost more, but you will save money from avoiding foot and leg injuries that poorly-supported shoes have. Be outfitted for a good pair of shoes at a running store.
- Don’t do too much at once. If you want to train for a marathon, don’t expect to do 20 miles your first day. Successful runners start out small and gradually increase their mileage and speed.
- Expect about a year of training to get where you want to be. If you want to run a marathon, many professionals suggest starting a full year in advance to get your body accustomed to the level of fitness it needs to be by that time.
- Hydrate before a run! Hydration is key if you want to do well as a runner. Runners World recommends that runners drink 16 ounces the hour before you start your run. Get 5-12 ounces of water at least every 20 minutes during running.
- Make time for resting. Injuries happen if you don’t let your body rest and rejuvenate. Instead of 7 days a week training, go for 5. Those small rests may seem like you are wasting time, but you are allowing your body to get stronger.
- Start a great diet. You can’t be a great runner if you eat candy bars before a run. Look into runner diets and make sure your breakfast is protein-packed and has healthy carbs to give you energy.
Whether you are training on your own or getting lots of professional help, we are always on hand to help our runners train and stay healthy. Call Olathe Chiropractic at (913) 732-0087 for your strength-building needs or to get customized diet and health plans for you!