Own Your Run!
Running. It comes naturally to a lot of people (or so they tell themselves), so they just throw themselves into it without much thought… Whether you’re a beginner, or a little more experienced there are a few things you can do to make sure you enjoy your run a little more and increase your chances of avoiding injuries that will put you on the sidelines! Here are 4 elements I think are crucial to a long & happy running career!
Just like any other sporting activity, it’s important to get warmed up, your body needs to be prepared for action, and it needs to be dynamic. We’re not talking holding stretches here, putting your body through similar movements to running is an excellent way to start. Focus on your legs but don’t neglect some upper body movement, loosening up your chest & back after a day spent at a desk will help you breathe easier and move more freely.
Mix It Up!
Running is as boring as you make it, and we tend to settle on a distance and then go about it at the same pace we usually run at, taking the same route we always take. Doesn’t that make it feel like a chore? Play around with your speed, see if you can run faster between those lampposts or beat the bus to the next stop, then slow it back down again. Mixing up your intensity will not only make the run more enjoyable, but it will also help drive your performance gains and make you a stronger runner.
Unfortunately for a lot of us running isn’t enough to keep us on the road, we need to do some supplementary Strength & Conditioning work to help us stay on track. 82% of runners identify as injured every year. My philosophy as a trainer is Faster, Stronger, More Resilient. Each pillar supports the structure. If you become a more resilient runner, then you will be able to train with consistency, if you can train with consistency, then you will become stronger, and if you run stronger, then you will become faster. Basic bodyweight work is a great place to start, target the whole body, add single-leg variations in there to challenge our often imbalanced body, and don’t neglect dynamic core movement to create a stable base to run from!
Resist the urge to go keep pushing yourself, allow time for recovery, particularly when you’re starting out and don’t know your body as well as a more experienced runner. Typically a 10% increase per week is a good starting point, so either 10% more time on the road on 10% more distance overall… I like to work to time with my runners. It gets you used to being on your feet, allows you to schedule the exact time a workout will take, and takes into account the fact that everyday life stresses from work, sleep, diet can slow us down and make us more susceptible to injury. Recovery is as important as the training itself.
Personal Trainer & Running Coach
(@houseofcardinal / @trackmafia_ / @alamerfit)