Running can be a great way to exercise because you can do it anywhere and it doesn’t require a lot of equipment to do it. Read on to discover many things you need to know to start running.
To avoid injury it is important to allow your body time to adjust to this new form of exercise. Therefore, avoid going as fast and as far as you can. Instead build up gradually. Going too far, too fast can lead to injuries like runner’s knee, shin splints, foot pain and IT Band Syndrome.
Listen to your body!
Muscle soreness is normal when introducing new exercise or increasing exercise intensity. However, pain is a signal telling you that something is not right. Pushing through pain often leads to injury and having to sit out for weeks waiting for that injury to heal. At the first sign of pain, stop and rest. Often times, addressing your posture and realigning joints through corrective postural exercises can reset your body reducing grinding in the joints and / or decreasing pressure on spinal discs.
Decide if you prefer to run alone or with others.
Running alone can be great if your have a busy schedule and just need to get it done or it can be great if you like time alone to zone out or think. And running with others can be great for people who are wanting more social time or for people who need more accountability. It is amazing how meeting a run buddy gets you up and going. And there are also many run clubs around if you like the idea of running with a group.
Pick a Goal
Another way to stay consistent is to create goal for yourself. For example, you could pick a race, pay for it and put it on your calendar.
Plan ahead and put your runs into your calendar. Decide when and where you will run. If it helps, play your favorite music or listen to audiobooks or podcasts to keep your mind off running. At the same time, be sure to pay attention to your body as you go. Have your running shoes and clothing ready to go.
Proper footwear is essential. First, get rid of your old worn out shoes. In most cases, less is more when it comes to footwear. Find a shoe that is flat, flexible, and has a wide toe base. For those of you who have been wearing footwear with loads of support for years you will want to gradually move toward a more natural shoe. Footwear that pinch toes together and / or raise the heel higher than the toe often lead to foot, knee and hip problems down the road.
If possible stick to running surfaces that are softer. So instead of concrete, you may prefer a dirt trail, treadmill, a track, etc. A softer surface will take some of the impact away from your joints.
Choose a Training Program
If you have not been exercising at all for a period of time, then begin with Walking Program. Gradually increase a walk to 30 minutes.
If you have been exercising in other forms, then you are probably ready to run. A common way to start running is with a Walk / Run Program. For example, beginning with a 5 minute walk to warm up and then doing a 1 minute run followed by a 1.5 minute walk. Repeat the 1 minute walk and 1.5 minute run sequence six times. Then end with a 5 minute walking cool down. There are many Apps out there that make this easy to follow.
Warm Up / Cool Down
In other words, align and re-align. Consider getting an individualized Postural Alignment exercise menu that addresses your body’s misalignments and tendencies for compensation. Use this to align before your run and re-align after your run to keep you pain free and moving freely through your joints.
A Few Beginner Running Tips:
- Don’t eat right before a run
- Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout each day
- Keep your head up and balanced over your shoulders
- Keep your hands relaxed
- Elbows bent at a 90 degree angle
- Hips under your shoulders
- Short strides, light feet landing under the hips
- Shorter strides when running up hill
Be flexible with your training plan. If you are feeling run down, overly sore, are having a harder time breathing than normal, then maybe your body is asking for a rest day. And that is okay. In fact, rest and recovery are essential to making good progress. Remember…listen to your body!
Be consistent and patient
Enjoy the process. Take it day by day. A slow progression will help you to avoid injury and feel good in your body.
If your goals include preventing common running injuries and improving your running efficiency then incorporating Postural Alignment Exercises into your training program is a valuable consideration. You will be reach your training goals faster by moving through your joints more efficiently (i.e. Less grinding and friction equals more speed and less injury). To schedule your Initial Assessment Click Here.