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A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing the legendary Bill Rodgers for our podcast (which will be released soon).
As you may know, Boston Billy is the 4-time winner of both the Boston Marathon and the NYC Marathon, and the former American record holder for the marathon.
Now 71, Bill is still racing! And racing hard.
So, since it's now peak running season, and many of us are in the final weeks of training for various marathons, I also seized the opportunity to ask Bill for his best injury prevention tips.
Here are seven tips from Bill (in his own words)…
1. Be thankful. When I think of injury prevention tips, I first think we all have to be glad we can get out the door and run. Let's all be thankful for that.
Also, let's be thankful that most running injuries are not as harmful to our bodies as the injuries that many other sports and activities inflict upon us.
Perhaps the most harm we can do to ourselves is to sit all day at work or home, or smoke. I was even a smoker for a year or two and quit running at one point as most of us do.
That's why my first injury-prevention tip is to join a club or run with friends. The camaraderie is key to keeping you out there running, and preventing all the injuries you might get from NOT running!
2. Your running shoes are key. Of course, you wear running shoes, not tennis shoes, or some other sports shoes. Just think of the job your shoes must do in supporting your feet and body with each foot strike!
It's also helpful to get a gait analysis to make sure that you have the proper running shoe for you.
Also, when you try them on, they should feel snug but not too small. If you get shoes that are too small, it can lead to a lot of injuries by forcing your foot to land improperly.
3. Get off the road. The best surface to run on is dirt or even grass. All the professional runners do a fair amount of their running on dirt. Your legs won't become sore and liable to injury s when you run on concrete or asphalt.
4. Ease into each run. That way if you are feeling a sore spot in a leg or foot you can carefully assess that soreness and back off where necessary.
5. Hydrate. Back in the day, we used to not drink water, which is crazy. I now take a bottle of water with me on every run.
6. Recover. All professional runners rest a lot between their runs and you should try to get a good night's sleep whenever possible.
7. Mix it up. Other activities like swimming, yoga, kayaking, and weight training help keep your body balanced and prevent burnout.
These all go a long way and have helped keep me a runner for 55 years. I hope you'll join me!
For more injury-prevention tips, check out these great articles from our partners at AfterShokz: