Getting Into Running?
Since COVID has rocked our world (and our exercise regimes), some of us may have started to look for new ways to stay fit outside of the gym. I know for myself; I have started the dreaded exercise form of RUNNING. This comes with a myriad of mixed feelings, moments of excitement and joy, with a sprinkle of EXTREMELY of sore muscles.
Here at Healing Hands Osteopathy Croydon, I have seen a lot of patients come through the doors going on this very same journey and feeling different kinds of pain. In general, it’s normal to have sore muscles after exercise (the dreaded DOMS aka delayed onset muscle soreness) but some injuries brought on by exercise (in this case running) e.g. knee pain, calf strains/tears, hamstring strain and ankle sprains, can be avoided or minimised. So, I would like to run (pardon the pun) you through a few things to aid you through this process & help you avoid injury.
- Maybe the most important thing you can do in conjunction with any exercise regime
- Before AND After: Both stretching before and after running is ideal.
Try dynamic stretching: swing your legs back and forth, big arms circles, side to side lunges, etc. This will warm your muscles up prepping them for the activity ahead helping you avoid injury.
Try static stretching: this is where you hold your muscles in a stretched position for a longer period e.g. 30-60 seconds. This is best done after exercise as this is when you are warm and have lots of blood pumping through muscles allowing a deep stretch which aids in length and flexibility.
- Use an interval style approach: This means on/off running and walking. This can be done in a number of different ways: whether you like to set yourself mini goals e.g. run to that lamp post then walk; or a more systematic approach e.g. 1 minute jog into 1 minute walk repeated
- Don’t start sprinting – a gentle jog will do. Once you are more experienced you can work on your pace.
Warm Up/ Cool Down
Make sure you walk at the beginning: don’t sprint as soon as you get out of the house, walk for 5 minutes getting your joints lubricated then start doing your interval or goal–oriented jog Same goes at the end of your run: don’t jog into the house then head straight for the couch, make sure you leave 5 minutes at the end to let your body cool down and stretch.
How to Progress You Running
Keep a journal – how many minutes you were out and how many were spent jogging. This helps with motivation and to know when you’ve reached personal bests.
Listen to Music
For me this is essential! Not only does it keep me pumped, but it also helps drown out the sound of me huffing and puffing. The constant breath in and out is genuinely distracting and affects my motivation. With music there to guide me it helps to stop the dreaded thoughts “Surely that’s enough?” & “If I take this street, I’ll be home in 5”.
* Side note: Podcasts are also a great alternative. Current recommendation Stephen Fry’s: Seven Deadly Sins.
Wear Proper Footwear
Last but certainly not least your trainers/sneakers/runners (whatever you want to call them) are extremely important. If you are running in shoes that you had for 2 years and potentially have no tread, you are doing your body a disservice. Get some good running shoes and the impact on your joints & muscles will be greatly decreased.
If you unsure of where to get fitted for some runners, ask your Healing Hands Osteo at your next appointment
I hope these tips for running help and aid in your own running success story. If you are experiencing pain or something doesn’t feel quite right, please contact us at Healing Hands Osteopathy. We are your local Osteopaths and Remedial Massage Therapists in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, and we can help to reduce your pain with hands on treatment and provide advice and management strategies, so please don’t hesitate to book an appointment!