Running is a great way to stay or become fit,and it can be done absolutely anywhere!
We all know like any exercise, running has several health benefits too. These benefits include increased VO2Max , reduced risk of heart disease, balancing your hormones and supporting healthy blood flow. You just put your clothes and running shoes on and off you go. But is it really this easy?
Let’s see what Simon Cooper – English National cross country relay silver medalist who’s currently ranked 40th in the UK for the mile for 35-40 age group,- says about his 30 years running experience.
”I loved running right from when I was scouted by a club coach set up at a school sports day by my P. E teacher back in July 1990. I was 13 at the time.
Training for me has always had targets, high levels to obtain those achievements. Often pushing through pain barriers to improve as much as possible. Getting to know your body is important, so you feel when to push and when to rest. If you are serious enough – become part of a group. This can be motivating in so many ways! A coach can also help if you decide to take it to the next level with a proper technique and for staying injury free.
To me patients and consistency is paramount ! No matter how simple or hard a target is with a good solid frame of mind and training plan you will find it much easier to train if you have others to push you and help you along the way!” – Simon Said
As we mentioned running injuries are extremely common. As many as 90% of runners miss training due to injury.
This can be caused by several factors:
- Lack of warm up
- Sudden increase of distance
- Wrong footwear
- excess body weight
- going barefoot
- weak hips
- rough pavement or trails
- lack of knowledge in training
How can you avoid getting injured?
1. Your Footwear
We all want our running footwear to be comfortable to give us support but also cushioning and light weight feeling. Cushioning provides impact absorption, which is very important as we do not want to put too much pressure on our joints! Do research or ask an expert which shoes would suit the best for your running.
If you start running, it is very important to incorporate resistance training in addition to your running routine.
Few benefits of strength training are:
- It prevents injuries as it Strengthens the muscles and your joints.
- It can improve neuromuscular coordination and power., which helps you run faster and improve your racing time!
- Helps running economy by improving coordination and stride efficiency.
- When done correctly and regulary with health balanced diet can help you achieve that 6 pack abs. Read more: How to get abs
3.Improve your technique
Ground contact and landing:
Lots of runners found me with the same problem. They experienced knee and hip pain during or after run. Just Imagine when you run and you land on your heels by doing so the cushioning/absorption is done by the bones, which let’s be honest is pretty inelastic.
Now lets land closer to the middle of the foot. By doing this the absorption and cushioning is done by your muscles, which have more elasticity and this can reduce the chance of getting injured. While running we also need to make sure to keep our knees soft. See few exercises for knee instability in my video here!
Shoulders, arm and hands positioning
Keep a tall spine, pull your shoulders back that you imagine pinching a pencil in between the shoulder blades. The elbows should stay 90 degrees, on the side of your core. Hands should be relaxed as squeezing them will take lots of energy from you which we rather keep for running.
Have you ever experienced stitch? Most of us have. This can be due to our breathing while exercising or running. While breathing, exhaling should take longer than inhaling. This would help the lungs to clear properly which would help more clear air to access the lungs with the next breath.
It is very hard to focus on all these things at once. I can recommend to go step by step to improve your running efficiency. This will not only keep you safe but will lead to a faster racing time too!
Now that you know few reasons you may have been injured in the past and the ways of preventing it, is time to get started with This workout, that will help you prepare your body for a race or your running ahead.
Follow along if you’ve just got started and would like to keep your joints healthy or improve your racing time!