Running is great.
Running too much too soon, will hurt you.
Literally everyone in the health and fitness industry agrees on this concept, which rarely happens!
If you didn’t run much this winter, here’s a safe way to get back into it:
Try running for a 30-60 seconds, and then walk 30-60 seconds. Repeat for 10-20 minutes and reassess how you feel over the next two days. If you didn’t injury yourself, then run again a bit further or with shorter walking sets.
The app “Couch to 5 k” might help you.
Obviously the idea is to stop running before you feel any negative symptoms (pain).
To avoid pain, we have to be hyper-vigilant and extremely mindful. As you are walking between your running sets, perform a body scan (head to toe, looking for discomfort, pain, old clues from injuries past, and so on).
Ramp up your distance by 10% per week. This rate assumes you have found a distance that is challenging but causes no injury.
Why don’t we notice injuries until after we’re done running?
- Could be the extra serotonin that’s being produced by way of increased fatty acid oxidation, dulls the perception of pain
- Could be from the fact that tendonopathies do not feel injured during activity
- Could be because it’s cold
- Could be because the more goal-oriented an exerciser is, the more they ignore pain
- Could be because runners “zone out”
- Could be because repetitive injuries have no sudden increase in pain
Can you see why so many runners get injured by ramping up their distance too soon?
The longer you’ve been away from running, the more you have to respect a small ache.
Warm up Tips:
1. Massage. It loosens up your body at the tissue level and increases circulation and range of motion. These can reduce injury potential. You might already know what “foam rolling” is and that’s what I’m talking about. Try places like along your shin, your gluts, your IT bands, and so on. Try using a lacrosse ball for those hard-to-reach areas.
2. Active stretching and mobilization. Think of lunges with the front knee doing circles. Throw in some non-violent upper body rotations.
3. Muscle activation. This gets your muscles ready to stabilize you and absorb shock. Sample exercises would be single leg deadlifts, bird-dog pose, hip bridges (ideally single-leg).
Running Stride Tips:
- 180 strides per minute (regardless of speed)
- keep abs engaged
- lean forward at the ankles, not the waist
- Have a strong forward hip drive
- Try to feel your gluts engage when you plant your foot
Running can be a part of your fitness. It feels good. It can be social. If you need help, reach out. Whether you have run for years or are brand new, I can analyse your stride. And if I can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, I have a few experts that can.
PS don’t forget to lift weights.