Running for Beginners – Preparing for an Injury-Free Running Season
Running for Beginners – Preparing for an Injury-Free and Healthy Running Season
Sun’s out, and the runners are out! In the Vaughan and Greater Toronto Area, there are several terrific running trails, boardwalks and streets for runners young and old to run on, offering great scenery and trail to enjoy a lengthy run. Running, like any sport, offers several health benefits such as cardiovascular health, endurance, improved breathing, strong musculature, and preventing low back pain too! However, there are risks that can put a runner at risk for injuries that can sideline them from enjoying the summer’s running season. So, to prevent yourself from being the runner laying on the couch with ice packs on their knees, here are some simple and effective strategies to keep yourself in top shape for a great running season:
- Stay Flexible
- Stretch daily to keep your muscle tissues lean and flexible
- Stretch after a 10 minute warm-up before starting your run
- Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds, and avoid bouncing in a stretch
- Include sport-specific dynamic stretches like high-knees, skipping, bounding, cross-body arm swings and Frankenstein walks
- Include Strength Training
- Strength training 2-3 times with resistance exercise with weights, cables or bands is a great way to prevent muscular fatigue
- Focus on all muscle groups including the upper and lower extremities and the core
- Hill running and plyometric training are great ways to maintain and increase strength
- Stay Hydrated!
- Heat exhaustion is much more common on a hot and humid day. Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid two hours before running and 8-10 ounces after warm-up.
- Consume 6-8 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes
- Within 2 hours after exercise, re-hydrate with 20 ounces of fluid per pound of weight lost
- Best fluids consist of 4-8% carbs
- Cool Down
- 5-10 minutes of low-intensity running is essential to flush out that lactic acid build-up and will help prevent muscular soreness
- Increase Mileage and Incorporate Periodization
- Progressively increase your training volume, duration and intensity by 5-10% per week to ensure that you are always setting and achieving new training goals, while building up in a safe way
- Add Some Variety into your Training and include Rest Days
- Yoga, Pilates, Spin classes, cross-training and other forms of exercise are great things to add into your running schedule to avoid injury from the excessive forces running can put on the body
- Give your body a break! It needs to repair and recover – adding one or two rest days in a week will give your body the rest it needs to adapt and keep healthy.
- Have a Formal Gait Analysis, Choose the Correct Shoes and Use Orthotics if Recommended
- Not all feet are alike, and not all shoes are built the same. The type of shoe you need depends on the type of foot you have, your running style, and the biomechanics of your gait when running.
- Your foot type is dependent on the degree of pronation, supination and flexibility of your foot. The height of your arches plays a role in the type of shoe you choose too.
- A formal gait analysis will assess all the variables in your running stride including your heel strike, level of pronation, arch flexibility and running efficiency. Pinpointing issues before beginning a running career will help prevent injuries from happening in the first place!
- A visit with your chiropractor is a great start to beginning a running career. Your chiropractor is a musculoskeletal expert who can thoroughly assess your range of motion, perform necessary muscle testing, analyze the feet for the above mentioned biomechanical parameters and help you tailor a running program specific for you!
Looking for a Vaughan based Chiropractor? Contact Dr. Mathew Saturnino at ChiroPlus Vaughan today! Dr. Saturnino and his team of therapists all include running in their fitness programs and can help you put the right step forward in your running career! Proudly servicing all your healthcare needs for everyone in the Greater Toronto, Vaughan, Concord, Maple, Woodbridge, King City, Richmond Hill, Kleinburg and North York area.