Woman running on beach

We love working with runners. We know that there are so many advantages but there are also some dangers. This post is about helping you start your training well so that you can continue on and hit your training goals.

1. Starting out - Do not do too much, too fast

When runners are just starting and begin to make progress, they tend to push their limits. Although this is a great way to challenge yourself, it is important that you understand your body has a threshold that when exceeded results in injury.

Your mileage should be the least of priority. Be consistent, run for time and have fun. A decent schedule for the first few weeks is to go for 20 minutes – 30 minutes 4-6 times weekly. This allows you to have one month of consistent running and gives you an easy plan while decreasing the stress of having to hit a specific number of miles.

2. Do not run through significant pain

As runners, we all understand some discomfort is a part of the sport. Your legs and feet will likely be sore after your first couple runs

If you begin to notice significant pain or discomfort while running consider breaking your runs into a walk/jog cycle. 5 minutes of running with 1 minute of faster than a stroll walking. This keeps your cardiovascular system pumping and allows you to keep going forward. Breaks are one of the hardest things to convince a runner of doing, but it could save you from more severe injury.

Injuries may lead you to be less efficient, develop bad habits or in a worst-case scenario cause an injury elsewhere in your body. Remember, everything is connected, so if you are running with a limp the biomechanical stresses will be placed on a different part of your body.

Give your body a chance to recover and if you think that an injury is nagging have a medical professional look at it. It is much more beneficial to have an injury taken care with a couple of sessions of treatment rather than letting it persist and having to deal with it when it is much more serious, and your recovery time is extended.

3. Common injuries that can get worse if not taken care of early on (BOOK NOW)

Knee pain = patellarfemoral pain. This is a common running injury that almost every runner goes through at some point in their life.

o   It can start as dull or achy knee pain and then becomes sharp enough to keep you from running a few days in a row.

o   YOUTH RUNNERS: THIS IS NOT DUE TO GROWTH PAIN. Seek a qualified physician that works on muscles, joints, and bones to correctly treat the issue.

  • Achilles Tendinitis = Heel pain. This can start as a tight feeling. One achilles will “feel” tighter than the other. You're likely to stretch it before runs and it will be okay during THAT RUN. The next day it will be even more tight.
  • This is usually due to tip #1 -- running too much too early. Your body is telling you to back off a little. Sometimes 20 mins a day might be too much, shave off 3-5 minutes and see the difference.
  • Sometimes it can be biomechanical. Your running style might be contributing to the pain. Have a running coach or qualified physician do a running analysis for you to make sure this isn’t an issue.
  • Plantar fasciitis

o   We all know this one. That stabbing pain in the arch of your foot.

  •  Sometimes due to fallen arches, inefficient running style, less than optimal lower leg strength, or when you don’t follow rule #1 (you ran too much too soon)
  •   If you start to feel this, it might be time to start with running a little less.
  • BUT do not stop altogether, walking is a good way to comeback from a plantar fascia issue.
  • Tight Hamstrings – read this blog post for more info (https://www.aligntohealth.net/post/stretchallthetime)
  • Let us help you, Book now!

o   You stretch a lot, but it never alleviates that tightness.

  • Common solutions used:  Keep stretching? Have someone else lift your leg for you and create more stretch?
  • A lot of the times tight hamstrings due to A) weak muscles or B) sciatic nerve issues.
  • Weak muscles usually manifest as tight. This is a normal brain --> muscle response to safeguard areas. Incorporating exercises like a Romanian Deadlift are great.
  • Sciatic nerve issues. This is a topic to discuss with a qualified physician due to the complexities of the issue. But start with strengthening your hamstrings. If symptoms persist, reach out to us for an appointment (BOOK NOW)