After many months of running on a treadmill (or maybe not running at all) the longer days, clean sidewalks and warmer weather are calling like an old friend to get back outside. In order to stay injury free this year be sure to follow these tips:
If you have been running on a treadmill all winter you should reduce your mileage for a week or two and slowly increase it. Treadmill running does not use the same muscles as running on real ground. Because the treadmill moves underneath you it does not require the same level of push off to run when compared to outside. If you are coming back from complete winter rest then DO NOT start back to the same distances you were doing last summer/fall. Start with half of that and slowly increase your distances until your body has accommodated to the longer runs.
Check you shoes. If they haven’t been replaced since last season it’s probably time to start breaking in a new pair. Some runners replace their shoes every 3 months but the frequency all depends on the amount you are running. If you are doing short distances 1-2 times per week obviously you do not need to change them as quickly as a marathon runner would. A good rule of thumb is to change your shoes every 500-700 km.
Do a gentle warm up. While we are transitioning from the cooler weather to warm its very important to warm up your muscles before you hit the road. Do some jumping jacks in your house, go up and down the stairs or some burpees in the front hallway to get the blood flowing before you hit the road.
STRETCH! Running outdoors uses a lot more muscles than running on a treadmill (or sitting on a couch all winter!). After your runs it's important to stretch out everything from your torso to your ankles. For a quick and easy post-run stretching program.
If you have had injuries in the past, or would like to prevent an injury, come in and see one of our sport physiotherapists before starting up an outdoor running program. Contact us at 905-876-1866 or e-mail.