Summer has arrive in full force, and there are more and more people taking to the streets and trails to enjoy the fresh air, move their bodies and work up a good sweat with a nice run. Running is a great way to stay active, but if you’re new to running, or just getting back into the swing of things, injury could easily occur.
Before strapping on those running shoes, check out our Return to Running Checklist to ensure you get back into it safely!
Return to Run Checklist
1. Ensure You Have Appropriate Footwear
· Purchase a pair of classic running shoes: not shoes that are meant for strength training or walking only.
· Running shoes expire: Over time, running shoes tend to lose their supportive structure and their cushion. It is smart to replace your running shoes every 500-700 km.
· Break in brand new shoes: Slowly break in your new shoes by walking around in them first. Incorporate your new shoes into your running program slowly by starting with short walk/run intervals.
2. Develop a Plan
· Start slow: Initially start with a short walk/run program – For example, run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes, continue, and slowly increase your running time. There are many progressive return to run programs online. Ask a professional if you’d like a customized plan.
· Embrace rest days: It is very important that your body recovers. If you’re new to running, it is not advised to run back to back days.
· Start with flat surfaces: and work your way up to hill runs.
3. Warm Up
· Never start a run without a warm up. It is important to get the blood flowing in your muscles before starting your routine.
· Good warm up exercises include: marching, kicking your butt while walking, walking fast, high kicks etc.
· Don’t hold a static stretch as a warm up, we need our muscles to be moving to warm them up!
· Be sure to warm up for 5-10 mins before your run.
4. Cool Down
· Always cool down after your run! It is important to bring your body back down and starts the recovery phase after your run.
· Good cool down exercises: walking quickly, stretching and foam rolling your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, inner and outer thigh muscles and glutes).
· Stretches should be held for 30s-2 mins. Make sure you’re feeling a gentle stretch that isn’t too intense.
5. Monitor Pain
· Running causes a lot of impact on the joints of the body so injuries are very common when people are getting back into running.
· If you feel pain, stop running to avoid causing further injury.
· There are many factors that can cause pain while running, including:
o Running form
o Muscle imbalances
o Your running plan/schedule
· Give your body some time to rest and seek professional help if the pain is severe or if it does not go away.