with Phoebe Matthews AT
Ottawa race weekend may be cancelled, BUT self-isolation has created runners out of many of you!
It’s been so great to see people being so physically active on their social media. Whether its running, home workouts, yoga, or even just going out for walks. If you’ve been hunkering down on the computer at home or being more active then you’ve been in a while, it’s always important to check in on your body. In this post, I want to single out the born-again runners. Running can be hard on the body, especially if you’re new to it. So here are a few tips to help keep you body healthy as you get back into running.
First, like every new activity, it is important to build your way up. This means, if you want to get back into running, don’t start with a hard 10km run thinking it will be fine. Start with a walk to run, slower pace, and shorter distances. For example, start with a slow 10-15 min run, walking for 1-2 min, then running for 1-2 min at a pace where you could easily have a conversation with someone (this isn’t a guideline for everyone, but a potentially good starting point for new runners). If this is too easy for you, then increase the parameters; add more run time, increase the distance, and increase the pace.
Secondly, make sure you are giving your body time to rest. After your run, take a day to figure out how your body reacted to it. If you feel completely fine, that’s great! Maybe you can even do a longer and harder run the next day. If you’re sore, but otherwise feeling good, then that was a probably the right workout for you, and you can slowly increase your parameters tomorrow. If you are in pain, extremely sore, or injured, you just may have done too much for you body. If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to take a few days to reset, stretch, and, if you’re up to it, find an easier plan that works for you.
Finally, an injury prevention home program is very important, not just for runners, but for everyone. I’ll break down some stretches and strengthening/activation exercises you can do to make running feel better for you.
Hamstrings (Back of thighs)
Quads (Front of thighs
Calves (lower leg)
Adductors (Inner thighs)
Abductors (Outer Thighs)Neck
Hold each stretch for at least 30 second, while breathing nice and deeply. There are so many other beneficial stretches, but here is a starting point!
Calf raises (single leg or double leg)
Middle quad strengthening
Foot intrinsic – strenthening the lower leg
Try these at home exercises to strengthen the muscles and stabilize joints most affected when running. You can do 3 sets of 10 reps. Again, there is an ENDLESS list of exercises you can do for your body, but these are a good starting point. Find out what helps you and your body!
There’s no magic potion to help prevent injury while running. However, there are simple ways to be safe about it. Injury prevention really begins with the amount you are doing. Stretching and strengthening are bonuses that can help you feel better, recover faster, and get you stronger in your run. If running isn’t for you… then don’t do it! There are so many other ways to stay active in this time, such as cycling, home workouts, and walking! I also want to stress that this time of isolation will mean something different to do you than it does the next person. You don’t need to become more active in this time if that’s not in the books for you. There is no right or wrong, it is a stressful time and we are all managing it in different ways.
Sending out of love to everyone!
Put it in your calendar to get your appointment booked once we are up and running! (Pun Intended)