Just Started Running?
If you’re stuck at home right now and not able to go to a gym, chances are you’ve taken up running. Personally, I haven’t officially “run” since my college years, but like so many people right now I’m adapting to the situation. The only problem with getting into running is that it has a high risk for lower extremity injury. Almost 80% of people who regularly incorporate running into their exercise routine suffer some sort of pain. As we are all aware there are a ton of people at home right now trying to maintain some level of fitness. I wanted to put together a quick list on how to get ready to run so that you can run comfortably and reduce your risk for injury.
3 Easy Steps For Run Prep
- Set a Distance or Time
- One of the easiest ways to get hurt running is to simply do too much volume too quickly. If you’re someone who is an experienced runner then you know your distance and how frequently you can run that distance without issue. If you’re a beginner make sure you set an easy goal initially. Something along the lines of 5-10 minutes or a quarter/half mile is a good start. Maybe even less than that depending on how you feel. Basically, know how much you’re doing before you go into it. The less repetitive stress you have on any tissue the less likely you are to injure that tissue.
- Be Mobile Before You Run
- If you’re going to start running then make sure you move before you run. There’s a significant connection between what happens at your hip, knee, and ankle. All of these joints move and work together when you run. This means if you start running and there is any joint stiffness or muscle imbalance limiting your motion at any of these joints, then you are already setup for failure. It usually doesn’t take too much to get ready. Find 1-2 things to do at each joint and get your reps in. This will have you better prepared for the run. I’ve included some links for examples to try out and see what you think.
- Be Careful Stretching
- This is a discussion we have all the time in the clinic with our patients. It has been shown that traditional static stretching has potential to cause slight muscle injury prior to performing an activity. Typically, this is such a microtrauma that it won’t necessarily hinder your overall performance. However, it can potentially increase the risk for overload. This is the mechanism for injury during muscle strains. One of the most common things we hear from our runners is that “I have tight hamstrings.” Nine times out of ten when we assess it, the hamstring length is fine. So where is the stiffness coming from? It’s the muscle imbalances that are taking place elsewhere and causing you to run primarily with your hamstring. Mobility activities are typically a better route to go versus traditional static stretching. At least start there and see if it works for you.
If you have any questions or issues that you feel like we can help with please feel free to call us here at Curnyn Physical Therapy, our number is (817) 923-9000. Our PTs are more than willing to take your call and answer any questions you might have. If you are worried that you might be at risk for injury, we are offering FREE 15-minute screens to assess any potential risks you might have. So, give us a call!
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