Most runners underestimate the importance of easing into training.
As a Physical Therapist, I see this all too often. The new year starts, and runners get excited to jump into their training plans.
After what was likely a slow December for running, the sharp increase in training for January usually leads to injury.
Luckily, you can avoid injury at the start of training by focusing on two main areas.
Watch the video to learn more:
Tip 1: Control Your Pace
Many runners make the mistake of pushing too hard when they first start training.
Overdoing it in the beginning will often lead to injury.
The first six weeks of training are crucial for building a base. The body needs about that much time to get used to running again.
If you run too fast, too often, or too far, you will break down before you even get started. By February, you will be missing the main part of your training because of injury.
To get through your training feeling strong & injury-free, it’s recommended you dial into “base pace.”
While everyone’s base pace is different, it’s most easily found with “conversational pace” running. If you can’t run and chat, you’re going too fast and increasing your risk for injury.
There is no need to push as you get back into a routine. You can tack on speed and distance later.
Tip 2: Focus on Strength
Strength training in the first six weeks is critical to staying healthy.
Similar to building your base, it can take six weeks to improve your strength. All the more reason to ensure you’re adding strength workouts to your plan each week.
Where to focus? Start with your glutes, core, and balance.
By addressing those areas with runner-specific exercises, you will set the foundation for a great year of running.
As you start training, focus on running at a comfortable pace and building your strength.
Following this advice will allow you to reach race day injury-free.
If you’re looking for guidance with strength training, check out RunSmart!
Our runner-specific strength workouts are designed to prevent injury and keep you feeling great running.
Commit to running injury-free all year with RunSmart!
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