A Brief, Beginners Guide to Running
As the weather starts to improve more people seem to be focusing on running as a method of getting fit. Whether it be first timers or ‘ex-runners’ looking to start up, there are a handful of hints we should all be aware of.
1. The 10% Rule
The majority of injuries from running are over load injuries: ‘Runner’s Knee’, Achilles Tendinopathy, Plantar-Fasciitis all come from going too hard, too fast. By tracking your runs on a phone or watch, you can use this data to plan your running going forward. Tracking your runs also serves as a good motivator to see your progress!
We can avoid getting injured by only increasing our running, by time or distance, by 10% each week.
If you start by running two, 1.5km runs this week, your total time might be 10 minutes and your total distance is 3km.
You can increase by 10% of your totals i.e.: your distance by 300m or your time by roughly 1 minute for next week.
This may sound slow and like an insignificant change, however, over several weeks, your 10% increases build up and establish a strong foundation to progress your running from.
Regardless of how slow you build up, you’ll still progress faster than the person who goes too hard, too fast and has to take time off injured.
2. You Can’t Go Wrong Getting Strong!
Running is a fantastic way to build cardiovascular fitness, however it is a relatively poor way to build muscle. A great way to counter this is by supplementing your running with 1-2 days of strengthening exercises. These serve to decrease injury risk and improve your running power.
Strengthening can take on a few forms:
Traditional leg exercises using weight and resistance.
‘Plyometric training’: using jumping/hoping/sprinting exercises to push power through your legs.
Pilates especially focusing on core and leg strength.
3. Treat Your Feet!
Running is an easy sport to get in to, a pair of shoes and a bit of time is all you really need to get started. However, the shoes you run in can have a significant impact on your running journey. The most important thing is to find shoes with a little bit of support and that are comfortable.
Stay away from using well-worn work or gym shoes, the soft foam ‘life-style’ Nike or Adidas shoes are unlikely to provide the support your feet, ankles and knees need.
The ‘Running Company’ in Maroochydore is a fantastic resource for foot wear and knowledge. They provide one-on-one service with running analysis in store and a determined patience to find the right shoe for you. You’ll leave with expertly fitted shoes and a wealth of knowledge about running as well.
Whether it be developing a running plan or a strengthening programme to supplement your running, the team at SCREP can help.
If you’re reading this and you’re already suffering with a niggly knee or aching Achilles, then come see one of our physiotherapists to get you back on track.