Pain Free Running
Enjoy running without the injuries
by Clarissa Evans
1. Check your footwear:
Do your shoes still fit? Are they worn through in spots? Is the structure
still intact? Do you need new shoes?
Wearing worn out shoes can cause all kinds of joint pain and imbalance in the muscles striding you through your run. Your runs will be safer and more pleasant with good quality shoes that support your feet and propel you forward with a clean motion. Appropriate shoes can solve a lot of aches and pains.
2. Check your fuel:
Are you eating enough? Are you hydrating enough? Not eating enough food before your run may cause tissue undernourishment and breakdown. To prevent post run soreness and “BONKING” (that terrible crashing feeling you get at the end of your run) ...try eating plenty of vitamins and minerals
before (and possibly during) your runs.
3. Check your pace:
Running fast and hard can feel so intoxicating, pushing yourself to beat your last time, however, running too hard can make it difficult for your joints and tissue to recover. Pushing your body to it's very limit every time you step out, can cause undue stress on your body. Try a few easy, slow, enjoyable runs. Watch your heart rate throughout your run (or stop and take it once or twice). Don't let your heart rate get above 180 bpm - your age. This heart rate is a good effort indicator. Keeping your pace in check will help you run all the way to Thanksgiving without burning out.
4. Check your stride:
Step out on the trail with a buddy and film a little run by so you can watch your stride. Your leg reach should look like a full circle. It's important to make sure there's balance in the muscles firing throughout your stride. If you're running with some muscles dominating other lazy ones, it's a recipe for joint pain. Check that your foot push off is directly under your hips and that you're not landing in front of your body. Also check that you're drawing your heel upward toward your butt on the backside of the stride. Keep your core / upper body tight so your back doesn't flex too much throughout. Keep your toes, ankles, knees and hips in nice straight lines throughout the stride.
5. Check your other activities:
You might be having pain because of imbalance in your weekly activities. Do you sit a lot? Do you stretch? Do you strength train your muscles? Having a regular plan in place to combine a little mobility, stretching and strength training with your running will do miracles not only for your joint health but also your run performance. Don't neglect cross training! Move in lots of ways - try new things - keep that body moving!
Can we just say, GOOD ON YA for running! Keep it up! Don't stop! We're here to support and encourage. Let us know if you have any questions!
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