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Running is a wonderful way to get physically active and move your body. It’s affordable, requires little equipment, and is largely accessible for anyone, anytime and anywhere. All you really need is a good pair of runners to get started and a path to trample down.
However, if you’re new to running, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. In this article, we’re going to look at various running tips for beginners and other relevant information you need to know.
Health Benefits of Running
Along with its affordability and convenience, running comes with an array of health benefits. These include:
- Promoting strong bones
- Strengthening muscles
- Improving cardiovascular fitness
- Aiding in maintaining a healthy weight
- Helping you sleep better
However, if there’s one thing that haunts many runners, it’s injuries. Improper form, structural abnormalities, and doing too much, too soon can quickly lead to pain. Thus, as a runner, you’ll want to ensure you reduce your risk so that you can continue to run as much as your heart desires.
Tips to Prevent Injuries While Running
1. Invest in Proper Footwear.
The first thing you’ll want to do before hitting the pavement (or the trails) is to purchase running shoes. These shoes differ from regular sneakers since they provide stability, padding, comfort, and flexibility. Essentially, they are designed for the running gait.
We recommend heading to the store to try on a few different running shoes. This way, you can walk around in them in the store before taking them out on a run.
2. Use Strength Training as a Complimentary Exercise.
Running is great. Yet, if you want to avoid injuries, you’ll want to strengthen these muscles via a proper strength training routine. Even just two to three times a week is sufficient.
A complimentary strength training routine should include lunges, squats, deadlifts, calf raises, and more.
3. Don’t Forget to Warm-Up and Cooldown.
Going straight from sitting for hours on end to running isn’t recommended. Instead, warm up with some dynamic stretches, such as arm circles, lunges, leg swings, and more.
After your run, cool down with static stretches to help your muscles recover and avoid muscular tightness following your run. This is also where using a foam roller may be beneficial.
4. Slowly Build Your Frequency and Mileage.
Most running injuries happen from increasing your distance or frequency too soon. This places unnecessary stress on the body and its joints, leading to pain and inflammation.
Instead, slowly ramp it up. For beginners, you might benefit from starting with a walk-run-walk routine as opposed to jumping straight into running. This may mean walking for one minute, then running for one minute for 20-30 minutes to start. Slowly, you may decrease your walking time and increase your running time. This allows your body to gradually adapt and adjust.
5. Set Small, Achievable, and Realistic Goals.
Running a half marathon race in a month likely isn’t going to happen if you’re just starting. In fact, this is setting yourself up for injuries and pain.
As opposed to setting your sights high, be realistic. Plan for a 5-kilometer race two months away. It’s going to take time to build up your endurance and strength.
Additionally, you may want to look up training programs for the set distance you wish to achieve, This can help you ramp up your mileage and frequency in a healthy and realistic way.
6. Drink Plenty of Water Before, During, and After.
When running, you’re going to work up a sweat! Propelling your body forward at a quick pace is no joke. It’s tough work!
Thus, ensure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run. For bringing water with you as you run, you can choose to hold a water bottle or use a water belt.
7. Ensure You’re Running With Proper Form.
Running with proper form is essential to avoid pain further on down the line. Consider watching YouTube videos regarding how to run with proper form. Another option is joining a running club in your local town or city where other runners can offer you tips regarding your form and training.
8. Make Sure You Rest.
Recovery and rest are just as important as the run itself. Your body needs time to rest and recoup after a run. This helps you build the strength necessary to amp up your mileage and frequency, as well as to avoid injuries. Never underestimate the power of taking a day off!
Tips for Running Cadence
Your running cadence is defined as the total number of steps you take per minute. An ideal running cadence is around 180 strides per minute, with 170 being the average.
At first, you might not want to pay much attention to your cadence, especially if you’re in the midst of performing walk-runs. However, if you want to measure your cadence, you’ll simply need to count how many times one foot (such as your right foot) hits the ground during 30 seconds. Take this number and multiply it by four to get your cadence.
For beginners, it’s also important to note that it will take time to increase your cadence. And generally, if you want to increase your cadence, you will want to do this by time or distance. This means either increasing your cadence for one minute and then running at your base cadence for three minutes or running every second or third kilometer at a higher cadence.
Some things that can help you do this include:
- Investing in a running watch to help you track your cadence easier.
- Running to a beat.
- Taking smaller steps.
- Practice sprints.
In fact, some experts indicate that increasing your cadence can actually lead to improved form, which can reduce running injuries.
But what happens when you experience an injury?
This is exactly where Corydon Physiotherapy in Winnipeg can help. Our team is here to guide you toward making a full recovery, as well as ensuring recurring injuries don’t happen. Contact us at 204-900-8250 to book your appointment today. Together, we can help you get back to the activities you love.