I have been running year round since the early 90’s. I am proud that I have had few injuries that have side lined me from running. But with a degree in sports medicine I would hope I would know how to be my own patient. Here are a couple running tips to keep you healthy and enjoying the sport of running.
Here’s what I want you to know about being a runner:
If the shoe fits
Invest in good running shoes. Stick with what you know you like. Just because your running friend loves her Asics doesn’t mean you will. Nike has spent a lot of time and money or research that all of us have benefited from in the last 20 years, but if Nike does not feel good on your foot from the minute you put in on then it’s not your shoe. It is recommended that you try on running shoes on at the end of the day, and don’t hesitate to go up half a size. If there is certain brand of running shoe you had in the past and you were happy with it. I would start with that brand. But be open to trying other brands as well. You might not now what you are missing. As soon as you put it on, it should feel good. There should not be a “breaking in” period. Expect to pay over $100 and they should last you 300 to 500 miles. Personally I am a Brooks fan. I recommend going to a running store like Hanson’s Running for a proper fitting. You may be able to save a few bucks ordering from the internet but the professional service and knowledge they provide for you is worth it.
Consistency and gradual increases are key
I have heard from various elite coaches that it takes a good 10 years to be reach your running potential. That does not mean it’s too late to start. Success comes with consistency and gradual increases in distances and training. Be patient. Do not increase your distance and weekly mileage to quickly. This is will lead to injury, usually some kind of overuse injury. Total up your weekly mileage, it should not increase more than 10% each week.
Leg workouts important for runners
Don’t think that just running will get you to your true potential. You need to do resistance training and core work. And don’t forget your legs. I have heard so many runners tell me they don’t do any resistance training for their legs because they run. That is exactly why you need to do legs exercises.
Strength training allows you to do more miles safely. (Following the 10% rule is one way to prevent injury, but even if you are following the rule, you can still get hurt if you are not strength training. ) Strength training will also allow to do more intense workouts safely. If you can run more, or if you can run faster during workouts and stay injury-free, you’ll end up racing faster.
Here are a few common leg strength exercises that are great for runners. You will find many great strengthening exercise videos here.
If you are not sure how to put it all together, inquire about our online training programs. It’s like a having a personal training with you but at a fraction of the cost.
Limit Your Super-Tough Workouts
“Going to the well” or “seeing God” are phrases used to describe workouts that are practically harder than races. You might vomit after them or lose your appetite for a few hours. They’re tough. These are workouts that I usually need to be with at least one other person to really push each other.
These workouts should be a rare occurrence in your training plan. They increase your injury risk, and make you reach your peak fitness level quickly. Do too many and you’ll feel stale or flat. You should avoid them for most of your training, and only do a few in the last four to eight weeks before your main goal race.
These are some of the biggies, I can think of others, but will share with you in upcoming blogs and topics. Happy Training. Run Happy, Happy!