For New or Seasoned Runners
This past Saturday was the Harrisburg 5k Fun Run in the Town Center. A bit brisk in the morning, with temperatures in the 40’s for the run, make these tips even more helpful for those recently inspired to take up running.
I was busy in my Concord office doing a FREE workshop on Back Pain and Sciatica, enjoying the company of 10 people who have been suffering from low back pains for years. It was fun to watch the relief on their face as I gave them simple activities to help them.
SO, back to running and the simple tips for you… These tips will make your runs more enjoyable and body better prepared for the pounding it is about to experience. If you’re new to running, here’s three tips to get you started (good tips for the seasoned runners as well):
Make Sure You Warm Up and Cool Down
Most runners make the mistake of either not warming up their body the ‘right way’, or leaving a warm out completely, when simple warm-up only takes 5 minutes to do. All you need to do is get your heart pumping by jogging up and down in place for 2 minutes, and then gently stretching your calves and hamstrings for the remaining 3 minutes It’s important to warm up these muscles after you’ve jogged in place, so your body is prepared – otherwise you will have a higher risk of injury.
Proper Footwear is Critical
Your running shoes do not have to be that expensive, but don’t underestimate the importance of a good pair of running shoes. An old pair of runner may have grown stiff and it may be time to trade them in, but they are still better than crocs or other non-running shoes that I see many beginner use to start running. To reduce the likelihood of injury, get yourself a pair of well cushioned running shoes that are comfortable to run in, and will take any impact.
Don’t Overdo It to Start
As a beginner, most of your runs should start out at a “conversational” pace. What that means, is that it should be a comfortable pace where you are able to breath without feeling like you’re so out of breath that you can’t carry on a conversation. With that said, having a running buddy is ALWAYS advantageous to keep you motivated. Don’t worry about your initial pace, but if you can pass the ‘talk test’, you’re running at the right speed to start. Starting out slow will help prevent overdoing it, minimize the risk of injury and keep soreness to a minimum. It will also have you feel that sense of accomplishment without injury.
Easy enough? There is NO need to push yourself beyond your limits to start. I know for me at almost 50, I tend to push myself initially believing I could do what I did in my 20’s and I pay the price later that day and over the next several days. And, it discourages me to continue, but when I pace myself early on, I get encouraged and feel empowered to continued.
Should you suffer from a running injury, or any issues that are keeping you from running as you like, we at Volk Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine would love the opportunity to get you back on the path to recovery quickly. Give us a call today at 704-455-1172 and come in for a FREE Discovery Visit to see IF we are right for you!