So how do you warmup and stretch properly when running? Prior to a run, the focus should be on a gradual warmup by performing dynamic stretching. This type of stretching focuses on slow and controlled movements across muscle groups while slowly increasing your heart rate to pump the necessary blood and oxygen to your muscles.
Static stretching sometimes called traditional stretching is when you hold a position for seconds, such as pulling a single leg backward to stretch quadriceps. This is best done after a workout to help elongate the muscle once it has been exercised. Never, ever, bounce back and forth while stretching!
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You may hear runners complaining about their IT bands Iliotibial band. Dynamic stretching before, and static stretching afterwards, helps to address this critical band of fascia that runs from the top to bottom of a leg on the outside. It is one of the more common injuries runners face , and one that can be helped via warming up and stretching the proper way, and possibly using a massage stick to help increase flexibility and reduce soreness.
A Dynamic Routine: Stretch safely—before you run.
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Static Stretching. While you did a lot of preparation to get here, your first steps should be taken knowing and following a few critical things:. With these things in mind, use the running schedule below as guidance to build up to 15 miles a week. It may sound like a lot of running, but over the span of a few months it will become second nature and will have you wanting more!
Once you hit 15 miles, you can either continue maintaining 15 miles a week or look at the next section to build on your running base. There are a few options:. Here is a sample running schedule with additional workout types where you alternate workouts by week ex.
Hills or intervals on Monday for maximum of 37 miles per week. By weeks of the base training running schedule, you have enough miles and strength built up for a 5K and by weeks , you can tackle a 10K, but when planning your first race there are a few key points to remember regardless of the distance:. The 5K is a great first race for beginner runners, as well as, a distance you may want to specialize in.
Please read our How to Train for a 5K guide and keep in mind some key points:. The 10K is a natural step up for runners who have run a 5K and have enough distance under them weeks of the running plan in this guide to run 6 miles. Many runners are tempted to skip over the 10K running distance in favor or 10 mile, half-marathon, or marathon race. They miss out on a lot of opportunities to learn about how their body and mind handles this interesting distance that bridges the gap between middle and long distance running. The 10K will challenge your endurance and strength while helping you determine whether this is the top distance you enjoy to run, if 5Ks are more your thing, or if a step up to long distance running via 10 miles and up is what you crave.
Adopt the same rules of running for the 5K with a few notable exceptions:. Getting into, and maintaining, a consistent running schedule is far more important than pushing yourself for faster times or longer distances only to fall off for a few weeks to recover, or never returning to running at all.
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Patience and consistency go hand in hand with running, and if you run consistently it is easier to keep the good habit going and build running strength and endurance over time. If you find that the miles or pace you are putting in each week are wearing you down, back off the miles and pace but try to maintain at least 3 days of running a week, even if that is a mile run 3 times a week. This allows you to stay in your schedule, especially when live events affect the time available in a day! This is where running as a lifestyle really comes into play. You need to make an active commitment to consistent running if you want to enjoy the health benefits or running or become a truly competitive runner.
The reality is that life happens… you may have the new responsibilities of parenthood, work deadlines, tragic loss, etc. This may require some discussions with those around you about your priorities and how they can be supportive of your running lifestyle… bearing in mind that everyone has needs. Plan on some short runs during strenuous life events, it may be more manageable for everyone, but will keep you on your running path.
There is a time to push and a time to rest from running. Knowing the difference can be a challenge, but it is imperative to listen to your body. If you find that you are off pace or having difficulties with a distance you can normally run or run at a faster pace, take it easy for a few days or skip a run. External factors also play a role as a cold, injury, stress, or even weather changes can affect running.
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The key is to not overthink it. If you have a string of bad runs, it may be time to back off and rest a little or cross train more… and a string of good runs may give you the confidence it pick up the pace. You will be surprised how a short layoff from running may actually benefit you, and while a longer layoff may be discouraging you can and will re-discover the runner inside you. In fact, you may not need a layoff at all, but simply reduce your miles and pace while staying consistent with the number of days a week you are running until you are back to feeling normal.
From the common cold to a more debilitating injury, running setbacks will occur.
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These can be extremely stressful and are not only limited to physical injury but mental or emotional blockages that affect the desire or confidence to run. So how do you recover from a running setback? The short answer is that you will but your running may not be same. In these extreme scenarios, it is important to reset expectations and work closely with your doctor s on the physical side of healing. However, just as important, is to have the emotional support of others, as the prospects or realities of losing your running career is an event that requires appropriate mourning and in some cases, counseling, since running has become so ingrained in you as a lifestyle and part of your identity.
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For injuries that will allow you to still run, getting back into the running habit should be a team effort between you, your doctor s , and your support team. In this, and other mild setbacks, it takes about 2 weeks without running to really fall out of the program. Mild to severe injuries require more care and consideration, especially if the injury occurred while running. You may have new limitations on what you can do, but the first thing to do when recovering from a setback of this magnitude is to reset your expectations.
Be a new runner in the sense that you will not measure yourself against what you did previously but what you can do now! This is a powerful affirmation that may be difficult to achieve, but really comes down to how you judge yourself.
How to Train
This is not the time to give up on running, but reduce your miles and find a new favorite distance. You may want to consider giving back by helping other runners achieve their goals. You can assist at running races, be with fellow runners at events, etc. Basically, anything that keeps you around the running community will support your running lifestyle.
It will help you gauge if you need to mix it up with some more extreme running i. You may even switch sports ex. Many beginners wonder what kind of surface they should be running on. Many people suffer from side aches when jogging. When a side ache does strike, take a break and walk. Press your hands against the side that hurts. Running is a full-body workout.
Through it, your arm swing influences every movement from your hips down, including step length and cadence. The rest of your muscles should also be in good shape so you can run light on your feet. Plus, a well-conditioned body helps prevent overuse and compensation injuries.
This applies for all the body parts involved in running. Your heart loves variety, and doing different types of sports also reduces the stress running places on your joints and spine.
Plus, it keeps things from getting boring. As a new runner, we hope you now feel informed and empowered to start running! You must be logged in to post a comment. Running can help shave off those stubborn last five pounds , or take your fitness level up a notch or two. But for running rookies--even athletes successful in other sports--creating a training program can be daunting.