The spring season is here and with warmer climates comes the urge to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement, trail, or favorite outdoor track. But before you get caught up in chasing down your next running goal and embracing the endorphin rush, prep your body to be injury-free this season. Here are some of the tools needed to get outdoors and have a pain-free running season.
Step 1: Address your posture. We have all been gathered indoors throughout this winter and pandemic so it’s time to straighten up. Use a mirror for feedback on your posture while focusing on positioning your head over both your shoulders as well as the middle of your foot. You should feel balanced and at ease. If you are looking for a more in-depth assessment and for specific corrections, see our team at Lead Integrated Health Therapies.
Step 2: Invest in a good pair of shoes. Your feet are important and you should take care of them with routine ball releases and intrinsic musculature strengthening. Besides the daily care for your feet, make sure to get a good pair of shoes that are made for your running goals. Visit a local shoe store and invest in yourself.
Step 3: Start slow. It doesn’t matter if this is your 50th marathon or your first time off the couch. We all need to build up the capacity to cover distance and achieve our goals. Having a plan will also help you stay accountable and stop you from going out too quickly.
Step 4: Injuries happen. If you feel something is off, the best strategy is to address it head on. Again, make time to visit your team of health professionals, including your massage therapist, chiropractor, and physiotherapist. Don’t assume your small aches and pains will go away. Running is repetitive and tends to aggravate small injuries if they aren’t properly addressed. In addition, two of our most impactful classes at Lead to rehab hip and knee injuries caused by running stress are CoreAlign foundations and Restorative Pilates.
Step 5: Strength is never a weakness. Continue to build strength throughout your running to maximize your conditioning and reduce the risk of injuries. Use training styles that include good core conditioning (such as Pilates Mat Foundations) and glute focus (such as Pilates Barre or CoreAlign) to help with spinal health.
Good luck this running season!
-Dr. Alex Mackenzie