Don’t “run” into problems
Now that the spring season is finally here, many of us are tying up our laces and literally running out the door. Given the change in weather, it’s no wonder people are eager to either start running or increase their mileage. Unfortunately, here at The Micheli Center, we end up seeing a rise in injuries, leading to what seems to be the hardest conversation to have with a runner.
1. The weather is warm, but are you?
It’s not unheard of for a runner to step out the door and begin running without properly warming up. With little to no equipment or cost required, its convenience is no surprise. However, we strongly recommend a dynamic warm-up prior to running. A dynamic warm-up involves exercises that use motion and momentum to prepare the body for activity. Some research suggests implementing a dynamic warm-up rather than static stretching (stretches held for at least 30 seconds) before sport due to the potential to decrease force production with static holds. An important component of the warm-up is to increase blood flow to tissue which will then increase body temperature in preparation. Below you will find five key warm-up exercises used in training sessions here at The Micheli Center.
2. Running ≠ strength training
Running only makes individuals stronger to a certain degree, but a well-rounded strength program corrects imbalances and promotes proper movement to reduce injuries. This requires finding time during the week to implement this training which is often neglected to running instead. Depending on what a runner is training for, we typically recommend 2-3 days/week of strength training. There are key muscle groups that are often found to be weaker in runners and, if targeted, can not only decrease the risk of injury, but also improve performance. Below you will find five key strength exercises utilized with runners at The Micheli Center.
- Lateral Thera-Band walks
- Single-leg bridge
- Single-leg Romanian deadlift
- A-Stance push aways
- Unbalanced farmer carries
3. Increasing mileage requires time
All too often when a runner feels good after a run, they want to push the limits and run further. We strongly suggest the 10% rule. For example, a runner who typically runs 10 miles total a week shouldn’t exceed 11 miles the next week. For those who are just beginning to run, here at The Micheli Center, we like to adopt part of the Daniels Running Formula to ease into the sport.
|Day 1 in the week||5 min walk (after dynamic warm-up)
10 x (1 min run with 1 min walk)
5 min walk
|Day 2 in the week||5 min walk (after dynamic warm-up)
7 x (2 min run with 1 min walk)
4 min walk
|Day 3 in the week||5 min walk (after dynamic warm-up)
6 x (1 min run with 30 sec walk)
8 x (30 sec run with 1 min walk)
For further guidance in the realm of running, check out our running injury prevention programs.