If you’re thinking about starting a running program, here are a few tips:
If your activity level this winter has been little to none, start with daily low intensity exercise. A 10 minute walk after lunch or dinner might be a good starting point.
Build up time / endurance walking before starting to run.
When you are ready to run, add short running intervals to your walk (there are several online couch to 5K programs you can follow).
Increase your intensity by no more than 10% per week to reduce injury risk.
Get in shape to run, don’t run to get in shape.
Muscle weakness & lack of flexibility can be major contributing factors in developing a running related injury.
Aim to incorporate some basic strengthening into your routine 2-3x/wk. Core strength and hip strength are biggies!
Spend 10 minutes warming up prior to activity, and slowly increase your pace.
Don’t forget about flexibility. Try to target all major muscle groups with some gentle stretching after activity or try incorporating yoga into your regular routine.
Get plenty of rest and allow your body to recover between runs, using “off” days to focus on strength and flexibility.
If you feel soreness that persists for more than a few days, take it easy. If it isn’t improving with further rest, consult your healthcare provider.
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