Did you start running as your new sports for the year? In this blog I’ll share with you some of the common beginner runner’s mistakes and how you can prevent them!
Overly Enthusiastic About Your New Sport
Sorry to put a damper on your enthusiasm but many beginner runners go from none running to running every day! That’s a recipe for disaster.
Set some long term (a year) and short term goals (monthly). Remember slow and steady win the race. You want to start off no more than 3x a week running a short distance for about 1-5km. Slowly progress your running at a comfortable pace depending on what your long term goal is and you can break up your progression according to your long term goal. Keeping in mind, your body is new to this sport too. You need to give them some time to slowly adapt to this new sport and what it’s doing to your body.
Stretches before running
There are a lot of misconceptions about stretching before exercising . Although stretches are important to help improve the flexibility of the joints and muscles, timing for when to do them is also very important; doing them at the wrong time of your workout could have an opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. You actually shouldn’t perform static stretching before you exercise, especially if your workout involves the lower body. The muscles aren’t warmed up yet, and performing static stretching while you’re still cold won’t do anything in terms of injury prevention. More and more evidence has now shown that static stretching could actually have negative effects on strength, power and speed. Hence, static stretching should be avoided during a warm-up. Dynamic stretching has instead become more popular during warm-ups. Dynamic stretching involves deliberately moving the limbs repeatedly through its entire range of movement. Dynamic stretching doesn’t impede performance the way static stretching does. In fact, it may even increase muscle strength while still providing the short-term increases in ﬂexibility. Therefore, before you run, a bit of dynamic stretching is recommended and only do static stretch after your workout.
Overly focus on distance and speed
Especially if you’re just starting out, don’t over-focus on your distance and speed and neglect the others. Not only can this limit you as a runner but it can also leave the risk of developing an overuse injury. Conditioning exercises outside running is also a very important part of being a runner.
Your locations & running shoes do matter!
Your training surface & shoe support all will impact your running capacity and efficiency. For example, if you only run on a concrete surface. The impact forces going through your joints are higher and your muscles need to absorb more shock as the floor absorbs almost none! What does this mean for training? You would want to change your running route on a regular basis to make sure that you are not exposing your joints to the same impact all the time.
Similar principles apply to your shoes. Proper running shoes will help absorb more shock for you while running which in turn will reduce the load on the joints. I also do encourage people to alternate between supportive running shoes and also barefoot running shoes to change up the muscles you used to run.
That brings us to how often we need to change our running shoes?
Most good running shoes can last for about 500 and 750km (310 and 465miles)
However I encourage you to ask the shop person when you are buying your shoes how long they will last before the supportive structure in the shoes starts wearing out. Avid runners would change their running shoes as often as every 5-6 months even though the shoes still look new!
Injuries is common for any sports
If you are serious about running, it is almost inevitable that injuries will come at some point of your running journey. It’s not just running, injuries are normal for any sport. It is almost unheard of if you are into a particular sport and you have been doing it for years that you never get any form of injuries from it. Be it contact sports or non-contact sports. Do not get discouraged or scared. I see a lot of adult runners falling in love with running but they encounter some injuries that took weeks/months to recover and after that incident, they decided to not push themselves to be better or completely just quit running altogether. You need to realise and understand that injuries are common for any sports and no exception to running and if you do have an injuries from running make sure you take the time needed to properly rehab it and return to running at your own pace, don’t rush into doing the distance/speed that you do pre injuries but instead, build up to it again. And never get fearful or discouraged from running because of injuries. When you are trying to learn a new sport it is normal that you get injured as you are constantly trying to challenge your body to a new physical limit. Therefore be proud that you are pushing yourself to be better and never give up doing what you enjoy.
Keeping in mind these exercises are of general nature and do not take your injuries/history into considerations. In order to fully rehab your discomfort you will still need to continue to progress to harder and more functional strengthening exercises that are specifically tailored for you, in order to feel pain free while working.
Here at Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists are the experts in helping you to fix your issues as well as all the discomfort that comes with it!
We can help you lead a healthier and pain free lifestyle.
Our physiotherapist will be able to give a full assessment on you and come out with individualised advice/ treatment plan that is tailored for your particular needs.
At Capital Physiotherapy, your initial appointment is 40-60 minutes long. This allows our physios to be thorough in their assessment, as well as giving them enough time to give you treatment on the same consultation!
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