Ultrarunners: 10 Ways to Avoid Illness or Injury

September 29, 2022

Nick Hancock

Ultrarunning is a demanding sport that takes a toll on the body. While runners of all levels are susceptible to injury or illness, ultrarunners face some specific challenges that can lead to problems. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 ways to help you avoid getting sick or injured while running long distances.

If you follow these tips, you'll be less likely to succumb to the common pitfalls that can plague ultrarunners. First and foremost, it's important to listen to your body. If you're feeling overly tired or run down, take a rest day or two. It's better to miss a few training days than risk pushing yourself too hard and getting injured.

Secondly, be sure to cross-train. Ultrarunning is mostly aerobic, but adding in some strength training and other forms of cardio will help you avoid imbalances that can lead to injuries. Swimming, biking, and rowing are all great complementary activities for ultrarunners.

Third, eat a well-balanced diet. It's important to fuel your body properly so you have enough energy to train and race. Eating plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs will help you maintain your strength and stamina.

Fourth, stay hydrated. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue and can lead to cramping, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids both during and after your runs.

Fifth, get enough sleep. Shit... this should be higher up this list!! Sleep is when your body repairs itself, so skimping on shut-eye can lead to injuries or illness. Most ultrarunners need at least eight hours of sleep per night. This is so often an underutilized area of recovery and performance enhancement!

Sixth, use the proper gear. Wearing ill-fitting shoes or clothes that don't wick away sweat can cause blisters and other problems. Be sure to invest in quality running shoes and apparel that will keep you comfortable during long runs.

Seventh, warm up before your runs. A good warm-up helps loosen your muscles and reduces your risk of injury. Try some light jogging or dynamic stretching before hitting the trails. This is especially true if you're returning to running after a long break.

Eighth, cool down after your runs. Just as important as warming up is cooling down properly. This helps your body recover from the stress of running and can prevent injuries or soreness. Try some easy jogging or walking followed by static stretches.

Ninth... now I am speaking from PERSONAL experience here. For expert advice, see a nutritionist. I have noticed a difference when I supplement my diet with high-quality vitamins. As ultrarunners, we sweat... a lot! With this, we excrete more than the average runner in various nutrients. So, it "could" be beneficial to supplement... COULD!

Tenth, see a doctor if you're sick and a physio if you are injured. If you have any nagging injuries or illnesses, it's best to see a qualified professional so you can get on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. Follow these tips if you do get a cold or the flu and want to return to running safely!

By following these tips, you can help avoid the common injuries and illnesses that ultrarunners face. Stay healthy and happy running!

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