For most of us running is a form of exercise and not a career choice, but somehow we feel like pro athletes, well that's until something starts to feel sore or we can't get out of bed in the morning because our back is in spasm.
I have now worked with many elite athletes for many years and the number one thing that every pro does is take care of them self, have discipline and have treatment before there is any struggle.
On a spinal level running is not the best choice of exercise as it has high impact on our joints putting repetitive compression on our knees hips and spinal column.
So how can we run and stay healthy?
1) I cant' say this enough STRETCH STRETCH STRETCH!
You can counteract a lot of the tightness by stretching, if you are already thinking I don't have time for that think again as stretching will diminish your muscle aches, improve performance and longevity.
To be realistic at a bare minimum you need 30 seconds to 1 minute per muscle group. Keep tuned for my video on running stretching essentials. You can stretch effectively in 5 minutes
2) Check your technique.
I often take my dog for a walk on the lake front and spend hours checking out the different running styles and unfortunately I have to say that many are disastrous, good technique is essential to minimize wear and tear on the body and to avoid injuries. So if you are getting back into running, or are not sure of why you are so sore, check with an exercise physiologist or running coach to help to improve your style.
Many of my clients run recreationally 5 km a couple of times a week but I also work with many competitive runners that run several marathons a year, ultra marathon, iron man and so on. Regardless of your level sports massage therapy will help you to feel better and run faster, during the sessions we focus on any muscles that are creating problems before a serious injury, re-balancing areas of tightness stretching and much more.
Invest in a good pair of trainers, we all have different types of feet so spend some time researching what works for you and stick with it. A good sports store will have reliable advice or if uncertain see a podiatrist.
Running is a great cardiovascular exercise, but as your body ages it is important to not put the same muscle and joints under stress constantly. A great way to diversify is training for triathlons, including bike riding and swimming will diversify your exercise and assure longevity in the sport.
Or perhaps deep water running is an option for you, another great idea for a lighter load on your joints.
Through the years I have seen many of my clients needing to diversify their training as their body was not happy anymore and even though this can be emotionally really draining and upsetting I happy to say that those who embraced it have now found a new level of fitness and happiness in their sport.
Well this one explains itself, as you are exercising you are creating small micro-tears in your muscles having at least 2 days off a week will allow the muscle fibers to repair and renew themselves, if you are running 7 days a week I am afraid that in my opinion you re headed for injury
So which one of this tips can you implement in your routine?