Tag Archives: Running

The Best Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners

Stay off the injured runner list with the best injury prevention exercises for runners.

It’s another edition of Monthly Workouts for Runners BY Runners. Here’s the previous month’s workouts if you missed them:

Stuck Inside Workouts for Runners

Two-a-Day Workouts for Runners

Upper Body Workouts for Runners

This month, the topic is Injury Prevention Essentials for Runners.

As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve had my fair share of running injuries during the past few years. With each injury, I’ve spent some time in physical therapy where I’ve learned a lot. In the past, I always went for the bigger, flashier strength training exercises, thinking that I was gaining more. The more complicated the better, right? Not so much. The basics work. It’s all you need. However, what’s the key to making the basic exercises work?

Doing them. Consistently. And with good form.

Here are 7 exercises that I do routinely to help keep my body strong and off the injured list.


Keep running strong and injury free with these 7 essential injury prevention exercises for runners. happyfitmama.com

Single Leg Squat (Good for pelvis stabilization, glute strength, balance)

  • Balance on your left foot. Bending at the knee, sit your hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair behind you. Aim for your upper leg to be parallel or lower to the ground.
  • Return to standing position. Repeat 12 reps before switching to the right leg.

Eccentric Calf Raises (Good for Achilles Tendonitis)

  • Start on your tiptoes on the edge of a step, gradually lower your heel below the forefoot.
  • Using the other leg, raise yourself back to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 15 reps of each exercise, twice a day.

Dog & Fire Hydrant (Good for glutes)FYI: I’m sure there is a proper name for this but I think this gives a good visual of what the exercise should look like.

  • Get on the floor with knees below your hips and hands beneath shoulders.
  • Lift right knee off the floor and way out to the side, like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. (Sound effects are optional).
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds and lower slowly.
  • Perform 12 reps, then repeat on the left leg.

Single Leg Bridge (Good for glutes)

  • Lay with back on the floor, feet flat and knees bent, arms on the floor for stabilization.
  • Raise right leg up off the floor.
  • Pressing your left heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a bridge position.
  • Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat 12-15 reps on each side.

Lateral Leg Raise (Good for hips and glutes)

  • Lay on your right side with your legs extended out and stacked one atop the other.  Head can be supported with hand.
  • Engage your left glute muscles and slowly lift up your leg keeping your foot in a neutral position.
  • Lower leg to starting position. Do 12 reps. Repeat on other side. May use a resistance band for higher intensity.

Plank (Good for core strength)

  • Begin in push up position and lower down to your forearms, making sure shoulders are over elbows and palms are flat on the floor.
  • Make a straight line from your head to your heels, hold this position for 20-60 seconds.

Side Plank (Good for core strength)

  • Place your right elbow on the ground.
  • Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line, balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
  • Keep your waist up and lifted, and don’t sink into your bottom shoulder. Reach your left hand to the ceiling.
  • Hold for 20-60 seconds before repeating on left side.

And here are even more Injury Prevention Exercises and Tips from 4 of my running friends. Allie is too busy having fun in Italy to join us this month. Can you believe she didn’t invite us along? The nerve! 😉

Pin away so you have a stash of workouts on hand to keep running strong!

Three key moves for any runner from Sarah.

Prevent running injuries with these moves from RunFarGirl

Don’t forget the Donkey Kicks from Laura.

Injury Prevention for Runners

Go Around the World with Carly.

Injury Prevention for Runners - Fine Fit Day

Nellie has tips for preventing injuries.

Nellie's Injury Prevention Tips Graphic

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Running Coaches’ Corner this week.

What’s your favorite injury prevention tool or exercise?

6 Things Runners Don’t Need to Buy

Runners need a lot of things. Here are 6 things that you can skip out on to save money for more running things! happyfitmama.com

Runners don’t need a lot. Give us the marvelous open road and a good pair of shoes and we’ll run happy. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. In reality, we all love to have the latest gadgets and gear. A runner can never have too many pairs of black shorts, neon tanks and multiple pairs of their favorite running shoe (you know, just in case they change the style or discontinue it). Whoever says running is cheap is definitely wrong. So very, very wrong. Shoes, gear, gadgets, race entry fees, massages, and not to mention feeding a runner, are all very expensive.

To stay on budget and more importantly, save money to buy more running gear, there are some things that you don’t need to buy anymore.


Runners don’t want satin bras and panties that barely cover any skin. We want coverage. We want the girls locked and loaded with no bounce at all. We don’t want to think about wedgies while trying to nail our track workout. What is sexy? Sports bras and boy shorts.


Running does wonders for your feet. It makes your toenails turn black and eventually fall off. Blisters and callouses are everywhere. Not to mention that once you start running long distances, your shoe size increases and your foot flattens. Why would I want to squeeze my foot into a dainty shoe? Give me the comfort and support of a running shoe. Besides, runners need to be ready to run at any moment. You can’t run in stilettos. OK, maybe some people can, but I absolutely can not. Comfort please!

Real clothes

Runners want to look good. We want to have the best gear. But that doesn’t stop once the run is over. Running clothes are comfortable. You can move in running clothes.  Real clothes are constricting and uncomfortable. You want everyone to know you are a runner so you need to look the part throughout the whole day. Thank goodness athleisure is all the rage.

A Car

Why waste money on car payments and gasoline to fuel a car when you can just run everywhere? It’s an easy way to multi-task too. Get your long run in while you run errands, literally. If you don’t want to run everywhere, you could also walk, bike, or use an Elliptigo. Cross training for runners. Boom.


Being a runner means always having a smooth running digestive tract. Sometimes it may run too smoothly at inconvenient times like during a long run when there are no bathrooms available or during a race. But there’s no better way to keep things moving smoothly than with a good run.


What’s all natural, legal in all 50 states, has zero side effects and makes your skin glow? A runner’s high. Who needs drugs when you can get high on running. However, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get the munchies after this high especially if you are in marathon training.

FYI – This is a satire piece. You may not think this is funny but I do. 😉

I wrote the original version of this for RunHaven, February 2015.

What don’t you need buy now that you are a runner?


What's been going on lately. | happyfitmama.com

It’s time for my monthly Lately.

Lately…I’ve been really enjoying running. Like really enjoying. I don’t know if it’s because I let myself rest for a week when my back flared up or because I’m feeling more aligned, but I’ve been running by feel and have been quite surprised with my paces when I scroll through the data at the end of the run. That’s probably also why I have race fever. When I feel good, I want to run the world!

Lately…I’ve been feeling ‘meh’ about yoga. I love my usual Sunday class with Elizabeth because she mixes it up and keeps it interesting each week. She also started to play around with music in class which makes it fun. Last week was Classic Rock Sunday. Have you ever done yoga to Judas Priest, Billy Joel or Motley Crue? Me neither. Who knew it could be a good mix? I’m ready for a new schedule change in June that will hopefully have one of my favorite teachers back from maternity leave.

outside yoga lately | happyfitmama.com

Lately…Speaking of yoga, I’m attending Brews and Balance outdoor yoga this weekend. It’s a yoga class at a park followed by beer, although I think it would be much more interesting to drink BEFORE class. I can just see my yoga pics plastered all over Instagram. Oh that would be dangerous!

Lately…I’m flipping excited for an off road adventure with this girl over the weekend.

Lately…I read an actual book. And it wasn’t about running. I’m quite embarrassed to admit that it’s been months since I picked up a book. I remembered hearing about “When Breath Becomes Air” a few months ago when it was released and wanted to read it. It was a good read but terribly sad. I feel like I need an uplifting, lighthearted read now. Any suggestions?

Lately…Anyone else floored that Nashville got cancelled? I know it’s been kind of cheesy and not the greatest this season but I was still watching. Sometimes cheesy is good!

Wedding pic happyfitmama.com

Lately…Happy Anniversary to Ron and I! 14 years ago we said I DO. I think I share this pic on the blog every year because 14 years ago, all we got for wedding pics were the real deal. So you get a picture of a picture! We had our celebration over the weekend with dinner out, just the two of us. It’s hard to imagine what our lives were like 14 years ago. We were just babies. And Ron had pierced ears. So weird!

Thanks for letting me do some Thinking Out Loud.

What’s going on in your life lately?

If you are married, how long have you been together?