Falling Down

We all fall down, or so the song goes. Depending on the situation (and your age and health), a little fall can be nothing to worry about. But at 8 miles per hour, little falls can become big deals.

I had a great time at the Second Annual KRCLE 5K (and I hope all our guests did too!) but I didn’t escape it entirely without incident. Coming down that familiar but apparently treacherous Edgewater hill, I hit a patch of ice just the wrong way, and fell on my butt, catching myself with my arm.

K, ever the caretaker, immediately stopped and asked if I was okay, and if I wanted to walk the rest of the race. As I stood and got my bearings, I moved my joints around and felt for any pain. Luckily, this was a relatively harmless tumble; I felt good to keep running. Unfortunately, it only took one glance at my phone before horror sunk in. My new shiny phone, only a few weeks in, with a substantial crack in the screen, and a noticeable bend. While the music and Runkeeper seemed to still be going, the touch screen was immediately unusable, with the display fading by the second.

As sad as I may have been about having to get my phone replaced, I should actually be thankful I didn’t suffer any real damage myself. Running injuries take many forms, and falling can be a rough one because it’s so unpredictable. So, with all my experience and wisdom, here are my top three ways to avoid taking a tumble.

  1. Avoid overtrainingWhat does overtraining have to do with falling? As you get more tired, your form breaks down and your running tends to get sloppy. Bad form can lead to missteps leading to falls. Ouch
  2. Stay light on your feetA study on runners and injuries showed that the top attribute of runners who avoided injuries was running lightly on their feet. Despite common beliefs, running toward the heel rather than the front of the foot actually increased lightness. As the article states, “Consciously think about “a soft landing,””, and perhaps increase your cadence.
  3. Watch for iceD’oh. Rather than the above two issues, my fall was really more my fault, because I ran on what was probably pretty evidently a patch of ice, had I been looking. This can really be generalized to ‘pay attention to your surroundings’, whether that be ice, bumps, potholes, cars, or children.

There’s more to injuries than falling, and there’s more to falling that what I talked about above, but hopefully these tips are a good start to staying stable. Be safe!

-R

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