Continuously Injured? Build Your Base

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You may see a theme in the next few weeks. I’ve found myself injured for the third year in a row. This is getting old, but I just never learn. I know what I need to do, I just never want to do it. What do I need to do? I need to build up my base. But time and again I do nothing but run, and it gets me every time.

I have some sort of overuse injury in my hips. I have yet to get a consistent diagnosis on it – I’ve heard tendonitis, arthritis, inflammation, etc. I’ve blamed my shoes, my age, my height, my feet, my legs, pretty much everything.

But after three years of injury that keeps me from running for weeks/months at a time, I am ready to place the blame on my own stupidity. I have a weak core, and I never do anything about it.  Well, I do something about it only when I’m injured and can’t run. The rest of the time I focus only on running.

I know I’m not the only runner out there that avoids working the rest of my body. I’ve heard the same complaints from my running friends. But we are all doing our bodies a disservice by not strengthening our cores.

Our core muscles are the key to avoiding most injuries. If our cores are weak there will eventually be a ripple effect throughout our body. You should be able to feel when your core is weak. You form will feel wonky. Your shoulders will be tight from holding your body in a certain position. Your lower body will inevitably be off course.

There are so many options to improve your core. Depending on what type of core work you hate less, you can even make building your core an enjoyable experience. I personally love the T25 program. It has a schedule that I can follow – and the workouts are brutal but short. Perfect because I still have time to run and keep up with strength training.

If T25 isn’t your thing – try one of these:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Cruise YouTube for core workouts
  • Beachbody makes some really great workout programs – look for a program you like
  • Your local gym

Professionals suggest strength training three times per week. You can get a really serious core workout done in 10 minutes. Everyone has an extra 10 minutes in their day.

If you are injured or feel an injury coming on – quit running! Or at least reduce your miles by a considerable amount. Catching injuries early, and taking a break, will get you back on the road much sooner. And by break I don’t mean quit all activity – I mean, work on your weak spots while you are waiting for your injury to heal. It will help. A lot.

My new plan looks like this, and by golly – I will stick with this for as long as I’m able to run. My love for running means that I need to focus on my entire body. Not just my lungs and legs.

  • I will no longer run consecutive days in a row
  • I will no longer follow a serious training plan – they aren’t working for me
  • I will continue to strength train at least 3 times a week – lower body, upper body, abs

I caught my hip injury early this year, and I plan to be smarter than I have in the past.

Have you suffered from a reoccurring overuse injury? How do you prevent re-injury?

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About Author

Liz Ward

Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.

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