Chris Ledford serves as a firefighter for the City of Fort Worth in Texas. Focused on protecting the lives of Fort Worth citizens, he protects individuals’ airway, breathing, and circulation during a variety of emergency situations. Outside of work, Chris Ledford is an avid runner and has run a 5k every month during the year 2016.
Good flexibility and strength are key parts of preventing running injuries among regular runners. Most runners know that they should stretch before a run, but maintaining and improving overall flexibility takes that even further. It strengthens the joints and ligaments and helps the body better handle sudden movements that might otherwise result in injury. Meanwhile, runners are known for having strong legs, but their muscles are toned specifically for the act of running. If runners work on strengthening their legs and upper body, they provide additional support to their joints. Strength training also can decrease a runner’s risk of a pulled or strained muscle.
Beyond strength and flexibility training, runners should always stay aware of their limits and listen to their body. Being aware of one’s limits allows runners to take a break in their training before an injury occurs. Although some runners dislike taking breaks, a few days off is better than the several weeks that may be necessary for some injuries. Similarly, runners have a habit of running through pain they are experiencing. While some pain is okay, persistent pain may be an early sign of an upcoming injury. For runners who routinely have a problem with pain, they can consider shortening their stride to lessen the impact on their legs and knees.