I want to start Running- What do I need to know?
Running offers many benefits, such as stronger bones, improved endurance, and better mood to name a few. If you’re looking to start running, here are a few tips to get you started.
Consult your Doctor
If you’ve never run before or if you have a personal or family history of cardiovascular issues, consult your doctor before beginning any new physical activity.
Log Your Miles
It’s a good idea to keep track of how many miles you run each week. Many fitness watches and health apps will provide additional data such as heart rate and average pace per mile. This is great if you’re training for a race and are working towards achieving a specific finishing time. If you don’t have a fitness watch, you can keep track of your mileage in a notebook or on your phone.
Replace your Running Shoes after 300- 500 miles
Another benefit of logging your miles is that you can keep track of the wear and tear on your shoes. It’s best to replace your shoes after 300 to 500 miles of running (but keep in mind that if you also use your running shoes to walk around, you should replace them sooner). While the shoes may still look clean at that point, the layers will start to wear down, become less supportive and increase your risk of injury. I recommend buying a good pair of running shoes from a reputable company. Some running stores can help you find a pair of shoes that meet the unique needs of your feet.
To avoid getting injured, it is important to keep your weekly mileage consistent to avoid significant increases in total mileage from one week to the next. People who quickly ramp up their training tend to have a greater incidence of stress-related injuries. A good rule of thumb is to increase total mileage by about 10% per week. This slight increase will continue to place an appropriate amount of stress on the body which is necessary to continually improve bone strength without causing a stress fracture.
When It’s Time to See a Physical Therapist
So you’ve started running and you’re experiencing some issues. Is it normal, expected soreness, or something more? As a general rule, it is normal and okay to have mild soreness after starting a new physical activity. Soreness that persists for greater than 24 hours is a sign that you introduced too much new activity to your body. Try taking a day off, stretching more after your run, and drinking more water to reduce muscle soreness in the future. If you are experiencing pain rather than soreness, this may indicate a musculoskeletal issue that requires the skill and attention of a physical therapist. There are several underlying causes for issues that manifest while running, and a physical therapist can provide a diagnosis and treatment plan to get you back on track with your training plan.
Schedule your appointment today!