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Hints & Tips

21 Injury prevention tips

Brian Mackenzie provides some advice on how to be proactive in preventing injury.

  1. Avoid training when you are tired
  2. Increase your consumption of carbohydrate during periods of heavy training
  3. An increase in training should be matched with increases in resting
  4. An increase in strengthening should precede any increase in training load
  5. Treat even seemingly minor injuries very carefully to prevent them from becoming a big problem
  6. If you experience pain when training STOP your training session immediately
  7. Never train hard if you are stiff from the previous effort
  8. Pay attention to hydration and nutrition
  9. Use appropriate training surfaces
  10. Check training and competition areas are clear of hazards
  11. Check equipment is appropriate and safe to use
  12. Introduce new activities very gradually
  13. Allow lots of time for warming up and cooling off
  14. Check overtraining and competition courses beforehand
  15. Train on different surfaces, using the right footwear
  16. Shower and change immediately after the cooldown
  17. Aim for maximum comfort when travelling
  18. Stay away from infectious areas when training or competing very hard
  19. Be extremely fussy about hygiene in hot weather
  20. Monitor daily for signs of fatigue, if in doubt ease off
  21. Have a regular sports massage

Here's some more good advice from Popeye on pumping iron

Brian Mackenzie provides some advice on the role and importance of iron

Iron deficiency is a common problem for the trained athlete, in particular females and those on restricted diets. Iron is extremely important for the transportation of oxygen in haemoglobin as well as for the anaerobic supply to the muscle and myoglobin. A lack of iron will severely limit energy metabolism. A report ("Nutrition and performance: iron, the essential element for the energy metabolism.' Sport and Medicine Today, 1999, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 42) discusses the importance of iron and explains how to avoid iron deficiency.

The common symptoms are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Susceptibility to stress
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Decreased cognitive performance

Avoiding iron deficiency is relatively simple. Two types of dietary iron exist, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron can be found in meat and fish, while non-heme is available in leafy green vegetables such as spinach (hence the reference to Popeye). Increasing the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet will go a long way to keeping anaemia at bay. However, it is essential to remember that certain foods interfere with the absorption of iron and should be avoided when eating iron-rich foods. Foods to avoid are cereals and wheat products containing phytates, and products such as tea and coffee that contain tannins. Supplementation is an alternative option for increasing your dietary intake of iron. However, it can cause an upset stomach, and in severe cases, the use of large doses can cause stomach tissue damage. As with any supplement, it's sensible to make a positive change in the diet rather than reaching for a quick fix.

Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2003) Hints and Tips. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 2 / June), p. 11-12

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2003) Hints and Tips [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Brian Mackenzie is a British Athletics level 4 performance coach and a coach tutor/assessor. He has been coaching sprint, middle distance, and combined event athletes for the past 30+ years and has 45+ years of experience as an endurance athlete.