Simple 5-Point Plan for a Successful and Injury-Free Season
By Pouria Taheri,
Head of Medical for adidas Runners and RUNBASE Berlin
You don’t have to train like a marathoner to suffer from common running injuries like shin splints or the dreaded runner’s knee. Changes in your training routine, unfamiliar workouts, your general physical condition and even stress are risk factors for runners. Pouria Taheri, Head of Medical for adidas Runners and RUNBASE Berlin, knows the kinds of health problems runners face and ways of preventing them. In today’s blog post, he shares with you his 5-point plan for running injury-free.
1. Make a plan
Preparation is everything! Before the season starts, take a moment to plan your races. Mark them on your calendar and set ambitious, yet realistic goals. No matter what distance you are aiming for, you need to prepare strategically. Training according to a plan will help you stay on track when life puts roadblocks in your way or you are surrounded by other distractions.
2. Work on your weaknesses
Tell the truth: do you know your weaknesses? Use the time between seasons to identify your weaknesses and work on them. The off season is the perfect time because you are running less anyway and are probably more relaxed. This is my advice as a doctor because every runner or athlete has their weak points, no matter how successful they are. Core stability, flexibility, stamina, strength, technique, health, nutrition, lifestyle – where do you see room for improvement? All these factors can have a big impact on your risk of injury. Perhaps you should even think about getting a functional movement screening (FMS). I recommend this movement test for all goal-oriented runners.
3. Build up a network
Besides working on your weak points, being more knowledgeable can also make you a stronger athlete. Most runners are not interested in reading boring books about running technique, nutrition or optimal training routines. And this is not what I am suggesting because most of the time it is hard to apply what you read to yourself. Instead, you should build up a network and join a community like adidas Runners. Visit places where you can meet fellow fitness enthusiasts, experts, runners on your level and those who challenge you to do more. In this kind of environment, you will not only find motivation, but also support and knowledge. Helping people help themselves might sound cliche, but it is the key to success. Who knows whom? What doctor should I go to when I’m injured? An efficient and functional network can solve many problems on its own.
4. Practice relaxed readiness
The good thing about a training plan is that it creates positive stress. This is essential for staying motivated. However, it can also increase negative stress when you have to skip a workout. Your mindset plays a big role in your training. Relaxed readiness is a state of consciousness that every athlete should aspire to because it helps you concentrate and make progress on your plan. You feel good because you know you gave it your all and you don’t get down on yourself. This mindset is a trademark of top athletes. The approach is based on the idea that you can’t really focus unless your mind is 100% clear. Passive training sessions like autogenic training, yoga or transcendental meditation can help you develop this mindset.
5. Deal with problems properly
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries do happen. The important thing is how soon you recognize them. Don’t ignore the problem and take it seriously. Even in the case of (seemingly) small injuries, it is always best to have them checked out by a sports medicine specialist. Generally, this leads to a treatment plan more in line with your goals. Feel free to get a second opinion if you aren’t sure. If you receive the same diagnosis, it’s time to accept that you are injured. If you have to take a break from training, then just do it, even when you find it difficult. Most of the time, the pain goes away faster than expected if you follow the doctor’s orders. Those who ignore the doctor and continue to run not only risk making the injury worse, but also developing chronic problems. Always keep in mind that pain is temporary.