Jun 2, 2021
Training Tips for Runners
What do you think of when you hear the word, “Running?” Let me share some thoughts that came to my mind when I first heard the word running: Hard, shoes, boring, complicated, can get very expensive. These are thoughts that I had when I first began running. What I didn’t know at the time is that running became invigorating, stress reliever, fun, and it can be taxing on the body, can produce pain if I am not using the proper training tips and tools. I speak on important questions to ask yourself and training tips to help you keep a happy, healthy run life.
So why did I start running?
I decided one day that I wanted to try this running thing. I didn’t have no formal training just said to myself I see other women running all the time; I can do this too. I first started off by walking and then progressed to jogging. As I progressed, I realized in running that progression in running doesn’t just happen on the pavement, but you must train your body properly to really reap the benefits.
As an athletic trainer, I am often asked about how do you prevent yourself from getting injuries. Well, there are certain things we can watch out for and then there are other things that we just may not be able to completely stop ourselves from getting an injury. In this blog, my focus is not to say that you will NOT sustain an injury at all in your lifetime but there are measures that you can do to help prevent yourself from getting an injury. Here is list of helpful questions that you can ask yourself during your running journey to help you prevent injuries. These are a just a couple of helpful tools. There are many other actions, steps that you can take to help prevent injuries. I will just discuss some areas.’
Are you ready to run?
Often, we get excited about starting a new adventure in our life that we go straight into it without really knowing whether we are ready to do that adventure. Do you have the proper attire? The proper shoes? Imagine someone who really wants to swim in a triathlon or become an elite swimmer; they need to make sure they are prepared to swim by having the proper essentials to be able to perform. What do you mean Felicia? One thing that helps many runners prevent injuries from occurring is making sure they get a gait analysis. What is a gait analysis? Gait analysis is where you are analyzed on how you walk and run. This can be done at most running stores, RRCA run coach, certified athletic trainer or physical therapist. What the professional is assessing is any abnormalities on one side versus the other side. Why is this important? This is important because based on your gait analysis will determine what type of shoe you will need to help prevent you from injuries and help avoid any type of discomfort while you are running.
Have you received proper training?
Once you have the proper attire and materials needed for running now you need to make sure you have proper training on running. Many people can just go outside right now and start running but how is their form? Are they running correctly? Are they hunched over? Are they gripping their hands or running with their arms swaying all over the place? Proper training is crucial in preventing injuries. This is whether you are just beginning, or you are intermediate wanting to complete a marathon or ultra. Is your running form correct? Running injuries occur when you place too much stress in one area and are not distributing the stress throughout your body.
How is your strength?
This is one area that many individuals don’t think about until it is too late. Strength is very important. As you begin to exercise more or run more your muscles begin to adapt to the stress. As a runner, just running alone doesn’t help keep your legs strong. It is important to incorporate other forms of exercise and strength training to help increase strength in your body. Running helps to get your muscles adapting to the stress of running but often as you increase stress if your muscles are not strong to adapt then they begin to break down which causes injuries. It is vital that you strengthen up areas that are weak to help avoid injuries from occurring. Key areas that runners should focus on are hips, legs, core and upper body.
Are you overtraining?
Often, we get excited when we are training for our first 5k or half marathon or marathon, we also get so embodied by the time goal we have or the PR that we want to receive that we go above and beyond our training. As I stated earlier in this blog about when your muscles are going through the same amount of stress repeatedly it increases the strength of that muscle. Well, the opposite can occur too. If you place too much stress on the same muscles, then it can cause damage resulting in a pulled muscle or strained muscle. Three key words I think of to make sure that I don’t overtrain: REST, RECOVER, STRETCH. These are key words that need to be involved into your training to avoid injuries.
The goal is to keep running and to keep striving for whatever goals you are wanting to accomplish. Let’s take these tips and tools into account so that we can keep a happy, healthy run life.
By: Felicia. R. Hall @feliciarhall
Felicia is an educator and motivator at heart. Felicia is a Certified Athletic Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Run & Fitness Coach, RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, Educator and a doctoral candidate. She is a small-town girl who loves running, nature and helping others become the best version of themselves.