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I have heard that jogging/running may lead to injuries, permanent joint pains etc.
I wish to know (in detail) which all precautions are to be kept in mind while jogging/running daily (in order to avoid injuries)?

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Do you mean precautions before starting to run, in general, or before starting to running daily? (as opposed to every other day) –  Eyal Feb 26 '13 at 17:30
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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Few things:

Stay hydrated, but don't over hydrate. Staying hydrated will reduce muscle tightness (a little), which will help reduce the risk of injury.

STRETCH. You don't have to go crazy and different methods work for different people. Some people get away with no stretching but I've never seen anyone from getting hurt as a result of stretching (provided it was done correctly). You can get hurt by not stretching.

Old coach saying - you can increase intensity or volume, but not both at the same time. If you decide you want to run faster, don't add too much mileage to your weekly total.

Don't increase your weekly mileage more than 10%. Obviously there is a grace period for starting up, otherwise to start at a mile would take forever to get anywhere! Let's say you end up running 20 miles a week. Don't take large steps in total weekly mileage - like to 30, unless you have already run that much.

Soft surfaces help but not required. Lose gravel (on dirt roads) can actually cause problems so be careful.

Get a pair of running shoes that 'fit'. These need to fit differently than your regular shoes. You need a pair that fits your running gait ad stride, not just the size of your foot. Find a local running store that does a gait analysis. I believe all stores do this for free these days, I've yet to see one that charges. One of the things they train their staff on is how to identify the right shoe for the runner in question. Let them tell you what models you are safest in.

Have fun!

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Thanks, but what is the way to stretch? Examples? and what's with the joint pains? Is it a myth? –  TheIndependentAquarius Nov 8 '11 at 4:15
    
There are two ways to stretch. Static stretching involves holding various stretches for 30 seconds and is probably what you may have done as a kid or commonly do. Examples can be found here: coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml If you want something different, what I prefer (but again these things are personal preference, though this has shown to improve flexibility and strengthening) is active isolated stretching. A brief overview can be found here: runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=3512 –  ngramsky Nov 8 '11 at 4:24
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don't forget safety gear if running in the dark. a reflective vest, headlamp and a blinking safety light are a must. –  edgester Nov 10 '11 at 0:50
    
I cannot recommend the Stick strongly enough for warming up muscles prior to a run. I've never been a very good stretcher, and managed to get a few injuries along the way. A sports med chiro recommended I use the Stick to warm up my muscles prior to running and, so long as I use it before and after a run, no injuries! (Sorry, can't link 'cause I'm at work and we're locked down to within an inch of our lives.) –  Valkyrie Feb 27 '13 at 14:23
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Overall good advice, but there has been absolutely no evidence in studies that stretching prevents injuries or enhances performance. Additionally, static stretching before exercise has been shown to be detrimental and does increase chances of injury. Dynamic stretching before, static stretching after. –  JohnP Mar 1 '13 at 18:46
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As has been mentioned, don't increase distance and speed in the same week. You'll end up over-taxing something in your leg/foot/hip area (voice of experience).

I also can't stress enough the need to make your easy runs truly easy. A recovery run can be beneficial but only if it's done at a substantially reduced pace,i.e., if you run at 9:00 min/mile pace for a typical moderate effort run you may want to stay in the 10:00 - 10:30 range for a recovery run. You'll have to figure it out for yourself but it should be slower.

Rest days are also not to be skipped. There's nothing wrong with taking a day if you're overly tired or have an unusual ache. You don't want a minor annoyance to become a major injury.

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I agree with most of the accepted answer, but keep in mind that there is some debate about whether being fitted at a running store is the best way to find the right shoe. See this New York Times article: The Once and Future Way to Run

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