Outdoor Running Season is Upon Us-Are You Ready???
Like the geese migrating back North, the daylight lasting longer, and the grass reappearing, Spring in Minnesota signifies the return of the outdoor runner. If you’re like me, most of your running over the past few months have been spent on a treadmill like a gerbil.
Here are some tips to remember as you transition back to running outside (or just start running period):
Just because you ended the Fall running 5 miles 5x/week doesn’t mean you can just go right back to that mileage/frequency. You’re going to need to give your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system a chance to build back up to that. Better to start with days off and slowly build your mileage back up. A good rule of thumb is a 10% increase every week.
Don’t ignore strength training
Even if you’ve been running on a treadmill all winter doesn’t mean your body is necessarily ready to run outside. There are elevation changes, wind, uneven surfaces, and the fact that pacing is harder outside to consider. There has been a lot of research/evidence to support a correlation between weakness/muscle imbalances and injury with running. Here’s a few examples:
Listen to your body
There’s a definite difference between muscle fatigue and symptom pain from a potential overuse injury standpoint. If pain is sharp, if pain worsens as you run, or if pain leads to limping afterwards it might be time to rest or seek treatment.
A physical therapist that specializes in running can evaluate any potential training errors, muscle imbalances, and even film you run to give you feedback on potential issues. If you’re like me, you don’t like to have to stop running while training for your next race!
Here I am with my sister-in-law after finishing a 10k last Fall. (pictured above) I’m training for my first marathon this Fall, and will definitely be following my own advice to avoid an injury/setback. Happy running, and don’t hesitate to contact OSI at 651-275-4706 to see one of our many running specialists to avoid stopping YOUR running due to pain/injury!