If you have decided to start a running program you definitely want to read this. We see time and time again injuries that can be saved if you just follow a few simple steps. When you don’t follow simple rules of running you could experiences anything from knee pain to hip pain to bad stomach aches. Read 5 tips for you as you start the wonderful lifestyle of becoming a runner. As always consult your physical therapist before starting any exercise program to be sure you do this safely and injury free. Give us a call at 901-221-2619 if you need to speak with a specialist to enhance performance and help you stay pain free while you hit the pavement.
1. You Actually Have to Warm Up
You must know that warming up is important and you need to know how to actually warm up. A good quote is “We don’t run to warm up; we warm up to run.”
This should click for some of you — running isn’t a warmup, and you need to warm up for this workout just like I would for any other workout. Strengthening the legs, hips, and butt can have a significant impact on performance, stability, and injury prevention.
Try warming up with different lunges: reverse lunges, curtsy lunges, and side lunges. Stretch your quads, and bring your knees to your chest. Dynamic warmups and stretching can have a huge impact on your form and strength and on your body’s ability to prevent injury.
2. There’s a Thing Called the “Talk Test,” and You Need to Try It
There was an interview on ultramarathoner and run coach Robin Arzon about what advice she gives to new runners. It seems so simple, and maybe this is common knowledge for some of you, but she brought up the “Talk Test”.
“You should be able to have a conversation,” she said. If you can’t, “you’re going way too fast.” We do this alot when we are doing our personal training to see how far we can push you safely. This rule applies to running as well.
3. You Might Not Want to Eat After Your Run (You Might Even Have a Stomachache)
When you get started, you might expect “runger” — this is one of those “insider” terms that goes around in the running world. But this might not be the case for you. In fact, you might have to force myself to eat something to get nutrients. Some people’s appetite can be suppressed for hours!
You might get a pretty bad stomach ache, especially as a beginner. “When performing high-intensity exercise, blood is shunted from digestion to the periphery in order to accommodate the oxygen demand to the working muscles,” said DIAKADI trainer Elijah Markstrom. This means that depending on what you eat or how sensitive your stomach is, you could be in for some serious intestinal distress.
There are solutions to preventing and treating runner’s stomach pain. You might think something is seriously wrong! Now if it happens, I know it’s somewhat normal and how to treat it. So heads up! What and when you eat impacts how your stomach feels on a run, and sometimes there’s just no controlling the digestive woes . . . they happen!
4. Don’t Go Crazy With Mileage — Gradually Increasing Is Key
Don’t drastically increase your mileage in a short period of time. Have you heard of the 10 percent rule? Probably not. It can potentially save you from injuring your knees knees.
Here’s how it works — never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from the previous week. Going from running 0 miles a week to 10 and then from 10 to 20 is actually not that awesome for you, especially if you don’t have any other kind of base-level physical competence. If you are a new runner with no group fitness experience and no gym experience rapidly amping up your mileage without this gradual percentage rule can set you up for an injury very easily.
5. A “Foam Roller” Will Be Your Best Friend (and Worst Enemy)
Another eye opening moment for you is when you first use a foam roller. It might sound like a torture device. Foam Rolling super tight IT bands can help with knee pain as you you continue running. This is yet another instance in which you can prevent injury if you know how essential recovery was after each and every run and the right way to do it.
6) Strength Training is a Must!
The benefits of strength training for runners—for both injury prevention and performance—are real. Whether your goal is simply to run easier with less pain or to run faster in your next race, a few strength sessions every week can help. Using runner-specific strength exercises will increase structural fitness—or the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to withstand the impact of running. While most forms of strength training can help improve overall performance, adding heavy resistance exercises, in particular, can make you faster during the final sprint of a race.