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Train Smart, Finish Strong: 5 Tips for Injury-Free Success


By Dr. Joseph Benert | Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

As the excitement of race day approaches, many participants are laser-focused on their training regimens, pushing their limits to achieve peak performance. While dedication is key, preventing injuries should also be a top priority to ensure a successful and fulfilling journey.

As an Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Physician at St. Luke's, I'm here to share some insights on how you can avoid common pitfalls and stay on track toward that finish line.

  1. Invest in the right gear. Safety first, thrill-seekers! For inline skating, make sure you have a good helmet, first and foremost. Since most falls take aim at wrists, forearms and knees, wrist guards and knee/elbow protectors are a must. As far as your skates go, make sure you invest in a pair that have the construction, bearings and wheels that suit your purposes and fit well.

  2. Embrace the training tightrope. Training is all about finding balance – not too much, not too little, but just right! Overtraining opens you to the dreaded overuse injuries. However, too little training can set you up for a race day encounter with "the wall" – and trust me, you don't want that. Finding a training plan online or hiring a coach can be a big help in this area. Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get ready, especially if you’re a newcomer.

  3. Cross-train for strength and balance. Make sure cross-training and strength training are incorporated into your routine. This will address muscle imbalances and enhance overall resilience. This can also prevent undue stress on specific areas and ensure specific muscles are not disproportionally overworked.

  4. Refuel, rest and recharge! Sleep, diet and stress all play a role in injury prevention. Adequate rest is particularly important! Follow the rest days scheduled into your plan and consider techniques like foam rolling and massage to aid recovery. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating well-balanced meals– especially as you get closer to race day.

  5. Listen to your body. Pay attention to any signs of pain, discomfort or excessive fatigue. Ignoring these signals can lead to more serious injuries. Take extra rest when you need it, and don't hesitate to modify your training plan if your body needs a break! It's crucial to consult a medical professional if you experience the following for more than a week:

  • Persistent pain

  • Swelling

  • Limited range of motion

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at St. Luke’s in Duluth At St. Luke's Orthopedics & Sports Medicine it’s our goal to keep you in your sport. Our dedicated team of specialists understands the unique demands of training for a race and we're committed to helping you stay injury-free, achieve your goals, and embrace the joy of crossing that finish line. Plus, no referral is required!

To schedule an appointment, call 218.249.6370 or request an appointment online.

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