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10 Resources for Runners to Train Smarter and Reduce Injury

10 Resources for Runners to Train Smarter and Reduce Injury

Running can be an exciting sport, and it is an awesome way to stay in shape. Unfortunately, it is also a sport that can result in a lot of injuries if you aren’t careful. If you are a runner, or you are interested in taking up running, and you are worried about some of the injuries that can occur, there are things you can do that will encourage you to train smarter and reduce your chances of being injured. Here are some resources you can use to ensure that you get a great workout without hurting yourself.

1. RunnersConnect

Here is a resource that offers podcasts and in-depth interviews with others who are involved in the sport. Hearing these people speak is going to change the way you think about running, and it will change the way you train so you don’t have to worry about injuries.

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2. Running in the USA

If you want to know where the races are happening in the US at any given time, all you need to do is visit this site. Find marathon dates, register for marathons online, search the map by state, county, city, or race/event for statistics, and find loads of other resources that will keep you in the running (pun intended).

3. RunEatRepeat

This is a running blog that is as entertaining as it is informative. It runs monthly, and you will learn about Monica and her love of running. She shows photos of various points of interest along her runs, and shares her thoughts along the way. Monica is just like you: she wants to run more, stay in shape, and get faster.

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4. The Active Times

Everything you need to know about running, injuries, etc. can be found here. Not only are there loads of great articles about the sport of running, you will also find articles about many other physical activities you may enjoy, including hiking, climbing, and biking.

5. Garmin Connect

Take advantage of Garmin products for creating training plans, diet plans, tracking running goals, and more. Be among the millions of runners who are already using and enjoying this technology. Join the community at Garmin online, and connect with other users.

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6. Plantar Fasciitis

No matter what sport you are into, an injury is pretty much inevitable. When the time comes that you have an injury from running, be sure to get the proper treatment, including physical therapy so you can lace up those running shoes and get back out there as soon as you can.

7. Cool Running

How much sleep do runners need? How do you prevent and treat common running injuries? What are the best training secrets for running your best race? Get the answers to these questions, and a lot more at Cool Running.

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8. Meetup

Want people to run with you, no matter where you are? This site lets you hook up with other runners from all over the world. When you use Meetup, you should never have any trouble finding a running partner again.

9. Competitor

This site offers all of the latest information about training and nutrition, plus all the news you need about running. You will find information about the latest gear, preventing injuries, nutrition for good health, and a lot more.

10. Jeff Galloway Training

Are you training for a half-marathon and need that extra push to help you reach your running goals? Let Jeff Galloway help. This program was created to help those who do some running, but aren’t fully into it yet. It will help runners really get prepared for any half-marathon event, with daily goals that are easy to reach but will get you to peak performance.

Featured photo credit: Wokandapix via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

When thinking about stretching and learning how to become flexible, consider you are doing more than just elongating and strengthening your muscles. You are, in fact, improving circulation of the blood (lymphatic system), and optimizing the depth of your breath, which further enhances circulation[1].

Stretching and yoga aren’t just trends; they are practices that have been utilized by humans arguably for hundreds of thousands of years or more. In many cases, modern humans have simply forgotten much of their ancestry, and stretching/yoga is certainly an integral part.

The following stretching routines, if practiced consistently (every day, or a few times a week), will improve your physical and mental well-being, so let’s get into them!

Here’s a breakdown of all the exercises I’ve covered in the video:

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1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

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    • Stand straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees just slightly bent, and arms by your sides.
    • Exhale as you bend forward (think of a door hinge movement at the hips), lowering your head toward the floor (imagine the top of your head being parallel with the floor), while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed (do not tense up).
    • Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs, or simply grab and hold the back of your legs; holding anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
    • Bend your knees and slowly “roll up” back to the standing position when you’re done.

    2. Downward Dog

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      • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
      • While exhaling, hinge at the hips and lower your head toward the floor.
      • Place your hands/palms on the ground.
      • Step back with your feet while keeping a neutral back/spine and with your head/neck in-line with your shoulders and arms.

      3. Deep Lunge and Twist

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        • Start standing with your feet together hip width apart.
        • Take a large step forward with your right foot.
        • Bend your right knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your left leg as straight as you can behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
        • Place your right hand on the floor or in a pray position, and twist your upper body to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling (for a deeper stretch).
        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking slow and steady breaths.
        • Repeat on the other side.

        4. Piriformis Stretch

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        See the source image

           

          • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you to start.
          • Cross your left leg over your right, and place your left foot flat on the floor.
          • Place your left hand on the floor behind your body.
          • Place your right hand on your left quad or your right elbow on your left knee (as shown), and press your left leg to the right as you twist your torso to the left.
          • If the spinal rotation causes back discomfort, remove the twist and simply use your right hand to pull your left quad in and to the right.

          5. Figure Four Stretch

          See the source image
            • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
            • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
            • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
            • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
            • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
            • Switch sides and repeat.

            6. 90/90 Stretch

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              • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
              • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
              • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if your hips are tight.
              • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
              • Repeat on the other side.

              7. Frog Stretch

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              See the source image

                 

                • Start on all fours.
                • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
                • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
                • Ensure your legs are maintaining approximately a 90-degree angle (squared off).
                • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
                • Move from your hands down to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
                • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                8. Butterfly Stretch

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                  • Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
                  • Hold onto your feet (or ankles), engage your abs slightly to keep an upright posture with steady breathing, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor. Keep a neutral spine during this stretch.
                  • If you cannot lower your torso, then simply hold the stretch and aim to lower your knees closer to the ground gradually.
                  • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                  9. Tricep Stretch

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                    • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
                    • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
                    • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
                    • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
                    • Switch arms and repeat.

                    10. Extended Puppy Pose

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                      • Start on all fours.
                      • Move your arms forward a few inches.
                      • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels, or until you feel a deep stretch.
                      • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
                      • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                      11. Neck Stretch and Release

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                        • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit down with your back straight and chest lifted.
                        • Drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
                        • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on your head with your right hand.
                        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                        12. Standing Quad Stretch

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                          • Stand with your feet together.
                          • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Keep your knees together.
                          • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
                          • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                          • Repeat on the other leg.

                          Conclusion

                          The key take away here is that consistency with your stretching routine, followed by good quality sleep and lots of hydration, will instantly begin to improve your quality of life. Find which stretches feel the best in your body and add them to a daily routine you can enjoy.

                          More on How to Become Flexible

                          Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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