One of the most popular sporting activities is running. Unfortunately, many pathologies of the musculoskeletal system occur as a result of this activity. Many of those complaints however, can be avoided by following a few simple steps. Here are 10 tips to safely practice running.
Tips for a successful run:
- Proper footwear!
Your shoes need to fit your foot properly in order to support the arches underneath your foot. Your shoes also need to be comfortable. If you have any questions about proper footwear for running, please come by Orthomedix for advice!
- Enough support
Make sure your shoe is giving you enough support. In many cases, if the shoe does not give enough support, the heel will be loaded asymmetrically. If this is the case with you, it is a sign that your shoes are due to be replaced.
- Proper warm-up
Don’t stretch before you have done a warm-up. It has been proven that it doesn’t prevent injuries. Secondly, stretching before doesn’t have any added benefit for running.
- Build it up
The best way to warm-up is to gradually increase running speed. Start at a lower speed and work your way up towards your running pace to ensure you are adequately warmed up.
Once you are completely warmed up, you may use dynamic stretching techniques. Stretch the muscles which feel stiff or ones you have injured in the past.
A proper cool-down is equally important as a warm-up. Stretch your calves, hamstrings and quadriceps for a minimum of 1 minute after your run. This is the best way to decrease muscle tension after running.
It is important to run as effectively as possible. Ensure that your strides aren’t too big. By reducing the length of your stride you decrease the amount of impact during heel-strike. This also helps to keep your weight in front of you rather than up which saves a lot of energy.
- Use those arms!
Make sure you utilize your arms while running. By doing this your spine, specifically your thoracic spine, will rotate appropriately and help propel you forward.
- Be careful with your knees
Your knees need to be pointing forward and not cave in or out during running. Keeping your glute muscle contracted will help achieve this. If you struggle with this, come by Orthomedix and we can provide with the necessary tools to strengthen the involved muscles.
- Interval training
Interval training is a good way to increase speed over a long distance. Try to split the distance in segments and take a 1 minute break after each bout. Try to increase the distance of each segment gradually and at the same time try to reduce the amount of rest time. It is important that the total distance does not change during this process. This way, your body will be able to adapt and eventually you will be able to run that same distance without taking any breaks.
If you have any questions about any of these tips, please contact us.
Written by Martijn Ermerins, Orthomedix