Running is a universal activity that has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of decades. The popularity of race running has grown exponentially between 1990 and 2013, with more than a 300% growth rate in the number of people participating. Females accounted for 9.7 million finishers, nationwide, representing 57% of the race running population.
Although there was a decline in race running participation in 2015, running remains one of the most popular forms of exercise because of its accessibility. Not only is running convenient, it can also be very affordable and tailored to an individual’s skill level.
Short, explosive runs may be just as effective as a long, slower run, and it is at the runner’s discretion how often they run and how fast. It’s no wonder that running is so popular, as it’s also a great way to fight obesity, build muscle tone, and improve overall health.
If you are just beginning your running regimen or you’d like to improve your current one, there are a variety of supports available to help with your performance. Consider the following 5 helpful supports for your running regimen.
Individuals who wear a proper style of footwear for running are much more likely to enjoy a healthy, effective running career than those who do not. Running shoes in today’s day and age are much more technically-designed, often shaping to the form of a runner’s unique foot and providing them with the specific support that they need.
Anyone who runs in flat-footed shoes or footwear that is designed for other sports runs the risk of a variety of injuries and ailments. It is important to invest in the proper footwear for a running routine because the specific designs can do a number of things, including supporting a specific arch shape, adding extra ankle support, and offering greater breathability for long distances.
Improper footwear can cause blisters, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, strains, and other aggravating ailments. Investing in the proper protective gear for your feet is crucial to avoiding injury and enjoying the support needed to enjoy a full running season.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as “Runner’s Knee,” is one of the most common injuries in runners and walkers. It is an irritation in the kneecap which can worsen during activity, and the pain may travel to the outsides of the knee if proper treatment is not adopted.
Braces for Runner’s Knee are available in lots of different styles, in order to meet the needs of each unique runner. These braces offer relief from pain associated with Runner’s Knee by applying dynamic forces to all areas surrounding the knee while still allowing for full mobility.
These braces are ideal for adding extra support to the kneecap mechanism, while also improving patellar tracking and patellar subluxation. Aside from Runner’s Knee, quality knee braces are also ideal for Jumper’s Knee, Infrapatellar Tendonitis, and Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. Runners who are experiencing any one of these ailments should consider this type of support for safer activity.
IT Band Bracing
Another one of the common injuries experienced while running is iliotibial-band syndrome. The injury occurs in the IT-band, a connective tissue that runs from the hip to the shin on the outside of the thigh. This kind of injury can be very painful, as the IT-band rubs against the bone, causing irritation and inflammation.
To provide added support for a runner with IT-band pain, bracing for IT-band syndrome is a great tool. These braces are ideal for the problems associated with knee pain. A brace can help to add compression and stabilization, as well as absorb stress in the area, reducing friction and improving thigh muscle function. This kind of support is ideal for runners who want to continue with their running regimen without feeling the dull aches and pains associated with iliotibial-band syndrome.
Orthotics are a simple solution for runners who are looking for added support during physical activity and orthotics are simple to use; wearers can simply cut the piece to the correct size and slide them into their shoes prior to wearing. Orthotics are a great tool because they can often be moved from one shoe to another, meaning runners can get the same support during all activities.
This support system is great for runners who suffer from lack of arches or very high arches, and some quality orthotics for running also support the heel cradle and the ball of the foot. Pressure can often be alleviated while wearing orthotics, and they are ideal for all sorts of ailments, including heel pain, ball of foot pain, lower leg pain, arch discomfort, and lower back pain.
Those athletes who are experiencing dull pains and aches when running may want to consider orthotics as one of the first solutions to rid them of pain. It’s important to recognize that problems with the feet are often the cause of pain in other areas of the body, so it’s a good idea to find out about your own running style and whether orthotics can help to correct any issues.
One of the worst things a runner can wear during physical activity is the wrong pair of socks. Some materials are much thicker and less breathable than others, and these are often the cause of hot spots, blisters, and other irritating skin issues. To avoid these issues, added support for running can be found in compression socks. This style of sock adds an extra layer of compression around the feet and lower leg, and they are made with a breathable material that keeps the skin cool and dry.
No one wants to miss out on their favorite running season because of an injury or lack of protection. If you’re looking for some added support to make this your best running year yet, consider the options suggested to give you a leg up on the competition—and on your health.