Over lockdown you only have to venture outside to see that many people are exercising more. After walking and home workouts running has been the most popular exercise during this period. This is great news and running has so many benefits. One of them being running is accessible to literally everyone. However, it doesn’t matter how much enthusiasm you have towards your new exercise it can be easy to make mistakes that will not only curb your enthusiasm but also your progress. We’ve put together five common mistakes made when you start running. We often see with patients presenting with niggles, but we want to keep you pounding the pavements!
The number one problem most people tend to face is that they want to put their trainers on, leap out the door and instantly bosh out a 5km run. Unfortunately for most people that’s just not possible! The best thing to do is build in slowly and interval between walking and running. This enables your muscles and cardiovascular system to slowly get used to the new activity. This also means your legs won’t be so sore that you can’t move for the next week! The NHS ‘Couch to 5k’ is a great app to help you build up slowly and safely.
Running can be much more enjoyable when wearing the right items of clothing . One of the most important things to consider is your foot wear. There’s an overwhelming number of running trainers out there so try and chat to your practitioner about what type Is best for you. This may also be the time to have a chat with them about whether foot orthotics are right for you. We have hundreds of patients who use their orthotics daily, feel great on them and wouldn’t be without them!
Your feet are your foundation and if this foundation Is not set correctly this can cause problems all over the body. Particularly with running they can significantly reduce common injuries such as : shin splints, ‘runner’s knee’, achilles pain and low back pain. The other factor to consider Is how long have you had your trainers? On average they should be replaced every 300-400 miles.
In terms of clothing make sure you are layering in case you get too warm and that you are wearing comfortable fabrics that are made to wick away sweat. For women a good quality , high impact sports bra is also important to reduces risk of chest and back pain.
Running is great cardiovascular exercise and works many muscles in the body but in order to prevent injury and improve your speed ,power and endurance then you may want to add in additional strength exercises at home. Your practitioner will be able to help prescribe specific rehabilitation and strengthening exercises for you in this area but the primary things you want to consider focussing on are your core strength and gluteal muscle strength and activation.
This really is one of the most common mistakes made when you start running. If you want to be able to continue running regularly and comfortably both of these things are essential. Static stretching before you run has very little research to back up its benefits. However, stretching after running Is of great benefit . This needs to be done within 10 minutes of finishing your exercise. Your practitioner can help you with these stretches and recommend any that may specifically help you. The main areas to focus on are:
In terms of refuelling the main objective is to rehydrate. Running raises the heart rate considerably and will make you sweat and therefore lose water. It is important to make sure these fluids are replenished and that you stay hydrated. If you have been running under an hour then water is fine but if you have run for longer than some kind of electrolyte replenishment is needed. I find SIS Rego to be a great option. This is recovery shake containing electrolytes but also contains carbohydrate and protein which are also important for your body’s recovery process. I high protein meal after a run Is always a great idea. This will help your muscles build and recover.
When we finally find something we are enjoying and reaping the benefits of, it can be hard not to want to go our every day – DON’T! When you first start running do not go more than three times a week. Once you are more comfortable with running and getting fitter it is still important to have at least one rest day. On this day you can still complete what is called ‘active recovery’. This is exercise such as walking, gentle yoga or light cycling. This will reduce the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles which is what causes those dreaded dead legs! It will also improve the blood flow in the muscles and help with flexibility. Rest days In general are important as this is when the muscles can adapt, recover and become stronger. It may also be worth considering seeing one of our brilliant sports massage therapists who can also aid in muscle recovery and iron out any tight spots before they become a problem!!
We hope that you find out 5 common mistakes made when you start running article useful! If you have any questions about this content please ask one of the Reflex Spinal Health team when you are next in clinic, or give us a ring on 0118 946 2100. Enjoy your running!
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.