Running Hacks From Our Newest Grafton PT

As the days are getting longer and the weather is pleasant, more people are choosing to run to stay active and get outdoors. Whether you’re running for fitness, just for fun, or training for the next half marathon, here are three ways to help improve your workout. Here are the three running hacks from Grafton’s newest Physical Therapist.

1. Complete a dynamic warm-up before running

Warming up prior to running is essential to help prepare your body to handle the higher-intensity activity. Dynamic stretches and drills are a great way to warm up without over-stretching the muscles.
Examples of dynamic warm-ups:
· Leg swings: Hold on to something sturdy, such as a mailbox. Stand on one leg and swing your other leg across the front of your body, then forward and backward. Repeat with the other leg about 20 times in each direction.
· Lunges: forward, backward and sideways all help increase mobility through the hips.
· High-knees: Drive your knees up to your chest, alternating sides, at a quick pace.

2. Avoid heel-striking

Shin pain or “shin splints” is a common issue that many runners experience. It can be provoked when the heel repeatedly contacts the ground first, rather than the middle of the foot. Heel-striking increases the force going up through the lower leg, causing pain and microtrauma with impact. Shortening the length of your stride help promote better running form and reduces heel striking. Some runners find it helpful to run with a metronome to guide their cadence and gradually work up to running at a tempo of 180 beats per minute.

3. Try Interval running

Interval running is a great way to diversify your workout and train your body to improve both speed and endurance. Interval running involves alternating running at two different speeds, or alternating between walking and running.

Examples of interval training:
· Run 5 min at a comfortable jog, then 1 minute at a brisk sprint. Repeat this sequence.
· Run one city block at a comfortable pace, and then increase your speed to a brisk pace for the next city block. Repeat this sequence.
· Run two minutes, walk two minutes. Repeat for 20-30 minutes.

Our therapists can help you learn exercises and stretches to reach your movement goals, safely and gradually increase your mileage, and adjust your body mechanics to promote the best running form possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations.

Kaela Beugnet enjoys treating runners as she is an avid runner and incredibly proficient in treating older adults.