It's that time of year again...running season. When those who have been logging the miles on the treadmill finally get to take to the streets, or sidewalks hopefully. I hate running over runners when I drive, ruins my day.
Along with the year-long runners, there are always some newbies who decide that this is the year they will finally take up running. Who can blame them? You spend some great time outside, you get some excellent cardio and all you need is a pair of running shoes, and hopefully some shorts. There really is nothing worse than a man in spandex shorts. Seriously who decided that this was okay? IT'S NOT!!
|Too much spandex!|
Seriously though, taking up running is a big deal. There are a lot of factors to consider; training schedule, diet, rest, shoes, the list is long. The most important one of all is the rest. Runners generally DO NOT rest properly. Muscles need rest in order to rebuild and get faster and stronger. The first thing you NEED to incorporate into your routine is adequate rest. That does not mean doing nothing, it just means some of the muscles need a day off. Taking out one running day and adding in an upper body and core workout will serve only to benefit you. You will run farther and faster and the likelihood of experiencing an injury will be dramatically decreased. More on that workout coming soon...
As it may not be completely apparent, I must express that I love runners! You are hard pressed to find a more dedicated group of athletes and as a trainer there isn't much more that you can ask for. The problem with runners is that they are also, some of the most stubborn athletes. I won't say most, but many runners still believe that in order to improve your running, you must....RUN 4, 5, 6 days a week. This is not the case! A well-rounded training program will offer you the best results. Imagine someone going to the gym and only doing biceps curls 4-6 days per week. You'd call him a lot of things, but a smart exerciser wouldn't be one of them.
|Not sure what to say about this...but yikes!|
What you need to remember is that running adds up. By that, I mean that you strike the ground approximately 1000 times per mile. Each time sending a force up to 3X your bodyweight into your skeleton. Crazy amount of strain on the body. If you want to know more about the heel strike follow this link...
There are plenty of studies out there, each with slightly different numbers, but one consistent factor is that they have found that more than 50% of runners are or have been injured from running. Some studies say up to 85%. Personally, I would say ALL of them if they are honest. If not already, one day for sure. The studies have found that many of these runners have experienced multiple injuries in the same calendar year. Imagine if over 50% of the NHL or NBA or any other group of athletes were out with injuries. People would quickly determine that something had gone wrong and that change was necessary. For some reason, this is not the case with runners. I will never underststand why.
There are a number of reasons that runners are the most injured group of athletes out there. It is our intention to help reduce that number by tackling one issue at a time. Issue #1 - lack of recovery time. Please make sure you are giving yourself time to get stronger. Taking a much needed day of rest will allow you to make the most of your next run/training session. Train hard, rest hard, repeat!
Check back for Part 2...coming soon!
Happy Running, Chad.