Congratulations….you’ve made the decision to sign up for the Cooper River Bridge Run. If it’s your first 10 K or you’ve run in all 39 Bridge Runs, it’s a big commitment. Hopefully by now, you’ve started your training and you might have felt a few aches and pains. There are a few tricks and tools that can help alleviate the injuries that can slow you down.
The great thing about running is that it doesn’t take much equipment. Finding the right shoes is probably the most important thing to do before you start. The wrong pair of shoes can cause foot, shin, knee, hip, and back pain. Visit your local running store and talk to a qualified sale person. They should analyze your feet and running mechanics and then suggest the correct shoe for you. The most expensive or prettiest shoe is not necessarily the best for you. Also, pay attention to the wear on your shoes. You need to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles.
You may have seen professional athletes rolling over a log like piece of hard foam. Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release that can help relieve tight muscles and increase mobility and flexibility. Increased mobility and flexibility will aid in preventing injuries. Foam rolling can take some coordination but aim to work on each body part for 45-60 seconds. Roll your calves, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, IT bands, and back. This can be done at any time, but is especially beneficial after your runs.
Unless it’s a hot and humid Charleston day, the thought of icing is not particularly appealing. Unfortunately, icing can be the best way to relieve your pain after a run. Icing can reduce inflammation, decrease muscle spasm, and help control pain. There are a few effective ways to ice. For the very brave and those looking to ice multiple body parts, the ice bath is the most effective. Fill your bath tub with cold water and ice. The temperature should be 50-60 degrees. Sit in your tub for 10-15 minutes. For small areas such as the bottom of your foot and your shins, ice massage is particularly effective. Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. When it’s completely frozen through, tear the edges of the cup away and massage the treatment area. This can be done for 5-7 minutes. If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, you can also use a frozen bottle of water and roll your foot over it.
And don't forget MUSC offers a full range of care through the Sports Medicine Department should you have more troublesome problems with your athletic pursuits.