5 Ways To Avoid Running Injuries

Running & Fitness / ZZBLOG POSTS

From sprains, breaks and muscle pulls to cramps, jams and scrapes, I’ve experienced my fair share of aches and pains from athletic activity over the years. Of all the setbacks I’ve ever had, the injury that stands out as the most painful and the most frustrating is shin splints. Too many miles, too quickly, with insufficient stretching gave me stabbing pains in both shins that made walking an ordeal and running impossible–for months.

Even more frustrating than the daily pain and training time I lost resting my sore shins was the fact that shin splints, like so many other running maladies, are preventable. Every personal trainer will tell you that you need to slowly build up your mileage and frequency with adequate rest in between runs. Even more important for runners of all abilities is proper fitting footwear, adequate stretching and having a post-run recovery routine. At Eastern Mountain Sports, we’ve got all kinds of tools and tactics to help you avoid running injuries of all kinds. Here are a few of our most popular choices:

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Superfeet Insoles

After shelling out over $100 for state-of-the-art running shoes, I totally understand if the idea of spending more money on performance in-soles sounds crazy. The fact is, when you buy running shoes, you’re primarily paying for the technology in the soles and the uppers. The in-sole, the part that actually supports your foot, is usually a flimsy piece of material with all the cushioning properties of a Fruit Roll Up. An EMS Foot Guru can help match your foot to the exact level of support you require to stabilize your foot and help you run safer, happier and better than ever.

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 MEDI-DYNE Original Pro-Stretch

Those shin splints I was talking about earlier, the MEDI-DYNE Original Pro-Stretch is a terrific, highly portable tool that helps me get my feet, ankles and calves ready for the morning run. I used to do heel drops on my front steps, but I really like the full stretch this device gives my lower leg muscles.

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THE STICK

Can’t afford a personal masseur or masseuse? The Stick is a great way to manipulate the soft tissue of your legs to help you limber yourself up before a run and reduce inflammation after a run. I did a century bike ride last year and people were using them left and right. If you’re prone to cramping or muscle strains, you’ll definitely want to consider adding The Stick to your stretching routine. In addition to enjoying the very real muscle benefits, The Stick provides a nice element of legitimacy for recreational runners with average bodies like me who occasionally run 5K events in the company of super fit triathletes. While they stretch themselves at impossible angles, I rub my legs down with The Stick, and give off my own That’s right, I’m a runner. What’s up?” vibe. Trust me, it helps.

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ZENSAH Compression Sleeves

Just as professional athletes tape their ankles to prevent sprains, ZENSAH compression sleeves support your muscles and increase the flow of oxygen to prevent cramps and strains. If my words don’t convince you to try them, check out the gushing customer reviews on our web site that comprise the 4.8 out of 5 star rating. In addition to running, these compression sleeves are comfortable enough to wear while traveling, working, sleeping or any other time where you find yourself prone to cramping or stiffness.

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Foot Rubz

Back in 1988, I bought one of these at the Eastern Mountain Sports in the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, Mass and gave it to my dad as a Christmas stocking stuffer. It’s still on the end table in his basement man cave where it sits between daily uses. I’m pretty sure the packaging is the same as it was 26 years ago. When something works, you don’t mess with it and when it comes to relieving minor foot pain and just plain feeling good, Foot Rubz work.

What stretching, recovery or massage tool works for you? Tell us about it so we can continue offering gear that helps athletes of all abilities to have more fun outside. 
Jim Darroch