Run that Injury Out of Town

By: StacyAtZeel

Zeel Member: I've started running in the last couple years. But each time I start running (well, jogging) for 30 or 45 minutes at a stretch, maybe three times a week, I inevitably aggravate an old ankle injury and have to cut back or stop running for several weeks. Basically, I keep getting sidelined just as it's getting really fun! What to do?Running correctly may help prevent injuries rather than aggravating old ones.Running correctly may help prevent injuries rather than aggravating old ones.

Zeel fitness expert Frank Baptiste gives a thorough response ripe with valuable tips.

Run faster, not longer. You're better off trying to run at a faster speed rather than for longer stretches of time, Frank explains. Because of the difference in body mechanics, jogging is actually much harder on the joints than sprinting. With sprinting, the foot strikes directly beneath the body rather than out in front. The result: your impact and force will be far less.

Keep off pavement. Pavement causes too great an impact while running, making it less than ideal for someone who is recovering from an injury. "Stick to flat, stable surfaces," says Frank. "Try finding a dirt, gravel or cinder trail. Better yet, a rubber core track." Not only will your body thank you, Frank adds, but you'll be able to log some extra mileage on your next run and over the years.

Regain mobility and stability. Chances are, if you've strained or sprained one of your ankles, you may have developed some asymmetrical imbalances. Work on improving flexibility in the calf of the injured ankle by incorporating stretches and self-myofascial release. (This can be done by booking a massage appointment or picking up a foam roller.)

Next, try adding stability work to your fitness routine. Balance on one foot, for two to three 30-second sets, a few times per week. To progress, close your eyes. When you've mastered that, move on to an unstable surface.