Spring Into Running

Although there are many ways to stay in shape during winter, many of you are probably getting a little sick of the indoors and are craving some fresh spring air.

Running is a great way to stay in shape. The beauty of running is having the capability of going wherever the path takes you. Just be careful. Although running in the spring is fun, it can get messy and even dangerous with the melting snow, rain puddles and mud.

Sports injuries related to running commonly develop in the spring from running too many miles too quickly, not having the proper footwear or not stretching effectively and appropriately.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from a running-related sports injury before starting a running regimen this spring.

  • It is very important to have the proper footwear for running. Check out a specialty running shoe store where they have professionals who assess your foot type – neutral, pronation or supination – and fit you for the right running shoe.
  • Before hitting the road, do a 5-to 10-minute warm-up followed by some stretching.
  • Although the spring air and warmer weather might be tempting you to run for a long time, start out slow and gradually increase the length of your runs.

Looking to kick start your spring running regimen? Try these techniques:

  • Sign up for a race, particularly something small like a 5k (3.1 miles). This is a good way to get motivated and gradually increase your mileage each week. A rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by about 10 percent each week. Plus, many 5k races raise money for good causes, so you can give back to your community while you get the positive benefits of running.
  • Try cross-training. This keeps your conditioning up, helps prevent injuries and keeps your workouts fresh. Some examples of cross training are cycling, swimming or circuit training.

As with any physical activity, if you start to feel pain that does not go away, either decrease your mileage or take a few days off to rest. If that doesn’t help the pain, make an appointment with your doctor to make sure you don’t have a serious running-related sports injury.

So dust off those running shoes and get started. Spring is here. Why don’t you run out and greet it?

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