I have had the opportunity to work with quite a few runners. While I don’t have the drive to pound pavement myself, my job is to help them continue to do what they love. If you’re a runner, here are a few ideas to keep in mind to help you stay safe and healthy on the trails.
– If you plan on increasing your mileage, make sure to increase your distance by only 10% each week. Starting out too strong can lead to overuse injuries and pain, like shin splints or plantar fasciitis.
– Try running trails or a track instead of concrete. Concrete is extremely unforgiving on your feet and joints. Now that school is out, you could hit the high school track early or late so that it isn’t during the hottest part of the day. Or, try running trails which are soft on your joints and you may even get the added benefit of shade. However, make sure you slow your pace when starting on a new trail because they are more uneven, so watch your footing.
– If running isn’t your speed, try walking. You can still gain great cardio benefits from a vigorous walk. Consider this new study, that found that a 30 minute walk with intervals of 3 minutes at a moderate pace (a 6-7 on the exertion scale) followed by 3 minutes at a leisurely pace improved aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood pressure readings better than 30 minutes at a continuous moderate pace.
– Intervals are a great idea if you are a runner too! Taking walking breaks during a run can help your body recover and keep your pace steadier. So consider taking a few walking breaks to give your legs a rest and help you finish strong.
If you have any questions or want an evaluation to improve movement patterns, call L A R Physical Therapy at 410.381.1574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.