Is the arrival of good weather making you want to get back to running wearing your favorite eco-friendly leggings, made in Canada? Or finally start a gentle program for long term running?
Our 101 tips gathered, following the tips of several experts in the field, in order to run healthily and minimize the risk of injury!
1-Listen to your body
The key to preventing injury is the right amount of stress on your muscles, tendons, bones and joints. If pain does appear, take the time to slow down, reduce the intensity of your workout, or rest for a few days.
Additionally, to assess the potential risks of a running training load, a body scan is recommended. Certain indirect physical condition assessment tests are easily accessible via fitness centers or kinesiology clinics, in order to obtain an overview of your abilities and to start running while avoiding injuries.
Recovering is also essential in the principle of adaptation. Pay attention to the real signals or indicators your body is sending to you (worry or hesitation).
2-Go at your own pace, but have rhythm
Running can become almost meditative when we let ourselves be carried away by the spontaneous rhythm of our legs.
In addition, it’s better to take small steps (3 / sec or 180 / min) – without actualy going faster, however - and to make little noise when leaning on the ground, not only to reduce the risk of injury. , but improve your times.
Running 4 to 6 times a week - also determining a reasonable running time and not by the number of kilometers - also decreases the risk of injury, as your body needs repetitions to solidify and learn this complex gesture that is running.
If you start out too strong and to fast, it is not the glory that you will pursue, but the inflammation of a joint, the racing heart rate, exhaustion, the gasping for breath and probably the end of the session. So, when the running gets tough and your breath short, walk. Running is above all an endurance sport.
Alternate 1 minute of running and 1 of walking. Then, just slowly increase the length of the running period while reducing your need to walk.
If you like jogging while listening to fast-paced music, that's fine, but be careful not to rush your natural movement to follow their frenzied songs.
How do you know what your ideal pace is?
First, listen to your body and your breath and hold a rhythm in which you are able to speak or pronounce a sentence. It is about running in fundamental endurance or Kezako. It is quite simply a running pace during which you are able to breathe easily.
But if it's still difficult for you to find your cruising speed, you can equip yourself with a heart rate monitor (watch) that will measures the heartbeat.
3-Set an accessible goal
Getting back to (or getting into) running invites you to question your lifestyle as well as your way of approaching your sport. It's different for everyone, you may want to run for fun or share an activity with a sports fanatic friend and get back to the basics of physical activity as a reason to regain control of your body, lose calories, to relax, exceed and feel in better health overall Or, you may like to complete in a 5k, 10k, half marathon or a marathon (find yourself a competition or a challenge that keeps your motivation high for as long as the duration of your program/ training). Already, putting one foot in front of the other is liberating. And remember, the courage to start and persevere is more powerful than the will to win. Try to set a goal that’s achievable and time specific. Without a specific goal, procrastination threatens us all.
4-Choose the shoe that suits you
Running in proper running shoes designed specifically for this activity, but also impeccably fitted to your feet will prevent injury. Also, don't forget to wear socks that fit snugly to your feet, made from synthetic fibers (to prevent blisters.) It’s not a luxury! Choose a pair of minimalist shoes in which you are super comfortable to avoid disrupting the natural biomechanics and development of the foot.
5-Follow a progressive training plan
For example, follow a 12-week training program that’s easy to understand and do, taking into account your initial physical condition and realistic objectives (you will not become a marathoner in 20 weeks without injuring yourself!).
Start with intervals of walking and running. Example: 1 minute of walking and 1 minute of running for about 5 minutes. Slowly increasing the running period as you feel more comfortable. It all depends on what you would like to accomplish as a goal.
In your first few weeks of running, wait before building a beginners training plan. There’s no point in going out for a training run every day, you need to go slowly and gradually build up your stamina. The primary goal will be to lengthen the duration of the outings before incorporating a new weekly session, to let your body build and recover.
6-Join a running club and have the right technique
Joining a group of runners, supervised by a qualified trainer, could stimulate you, motivate you and help you progress adequately.
When running, try to keep your back straight, gaze forward, arms 90 degrees, shoulders open, and hands relaxed. Also use your feet to propel yourself properly.
It is important to find time before the race to warm up and after to stretch. Your heart, muscles and joints must be prepared for continuous effort. A few sets of exercises like knee lifts or heel-buttocks are a good place to start. Then start off with a brisk walk or a at a very slow pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Towards the end of your run, slow down for at least for the last 10 minutes.
The issue of stretching after activity is still a bit tricky. Since good flexibility prevents injury, this stretching period is beneficial for some athletes who want to increase their flexibility. On the other hand, people who are already very flexible do not necessarily have a systematic need to stretch after the race. You can practice small sessions of flexibility, adding 1 to 3 sets of 30 seconds and working each of the large muscles in the legs, at night before bed, a few times a week.
8-Eat and drink well
In terms of food, it’s normally advisable to eat shortly before running. Try some oatmeal or yogurt with banana or other fruits. You need to test your diet so that you don’t get discomfort during your outings while not running out of energy along the way.
When running, staying hydrated is a priority, whether before (1 glass of water), during (regular sips of water) or after (2 glasses of water) is recommended to avoid dehydration and headaches.
9-Have fun and don't be discouraged
Have fun running, do it for yourself, do it to feel good about your body and clear your head. Whether you’ve walked 3 of your 6 km in the planned time is not important. The main thing is to have a good time, breathe the fresh air and have a smile on your face at the end of your run.
Persevere, be consistent but be patient with yourself and allow your body time to adapt and develop for running.
10-Vary your surfaces and choose pleasant places
The chances of developing an ITE injury (tendonitis, bursitis, capsulitis, etc.) can be reduced by trying not repeat the same movement over and over again. Running on unusual surfaces works different muscles from those you might normally use, providing physical benefits and reducing injuries. In an urban setting, the street is most accessible, but if you have the chance to slip on your espadrilles in other environments, jump at the chance.
To make starting off more pleasant try to find a peaceful place perhaps outside the city, where you have some point of reference (park, country lane, local school track, forest path, etc.) and relatively flat if at all possible! Good news for your breath and it will prevent stiff or sore knees.