An interesting side effect of the coronavirus quarantine seems to be a huge increase in people running outside. We like this kind of side effect. Dr. Anna in Frankfort and Dr. Matt Hartenburg down in Arkansas have both seen a large uptick in the number of people hitting the trails, roads, and tracks. That could be one of the many silver linings of this weird time period. We both love running and think it *can be* an incredibly effective means of getting fit, as long as it is done appropriately. Humans were born to run. We are uniquely suited to bipedal (2 feet) movement, and our lack of body hair (relative lack) and ability to sweat make us nature’s ultimate endurance athlete. Even our feet and ankles have incredible built in structures that act like shock absorbing springs that allow us to run. Yes, the human body is incredibly well suited to running, our lifestyles on the other hand have a tendency to pigeon hole us. Long hours of sitting at desks have shortened our hip flexor muscles and weakened our glutes. Years of inappropriate foot wear have turned our feet from shock absorbers into weak inflexible pegs. Over the next couple months Dr. Anna and Dr. Matt are going to be writing a few quick articles on how to get back into running and fitness intelligently.
We have done short article series similar to this before. When the weather begins to turn nice and people start dusting off the running shoes and heading outside, we always dedicate a few blog and video series to how to get started running. This year we will be doing the same. Follow along for the next couple months as we regularly post different articles on how to safely and effectively get into running.
First, we want to address some of the most common pitfalls we see when people are getting started.
Too much volume, too quickly. I don’t care how good of a runner you were when you were in high school or college. If you haven’t run in over a decade, you don’t need to be getting out there and doing 5 miles every day right off the bat.
Too much intensity too quickly. “Well my goal is to be able to run a marathon in 3 hours and 15 minutes, and thats about a 7:30 pace so I’m just gonna get out and start running at a 7:30 min/mile pace. What could possibly go wrong?” Don’t do this. Please. Because when you come in and ask us why your body aches so bad and you can’t even go out and run an easy 10 minute warm up, you won’t like our answer. Just because elite runners head out and run a 6:30 pace for long runs doesn’t mean that’s what were all supposed to do. Truth is, a 6:30 pace to an elite runner is akin to regular runners like us doing a simple walk run.
Last but CERTAINLY not least: not doing any strength training. Ask any running coach how important proper and effective strength training is and they will all tell you it is vital. Unfortunately there are not a lot of resources out there for average runners looking to add strength training.
Our upcoming articles will address these points. We will be putting out a blog every two weeks covering each of the following topics:
-How to get started by building an aerobic base
-How and when to introduce strength training
-How and when to begin progressing mileage
-Periodizing running and strength (putting it all together)
-How to recover like a pro.
Along with articles we will be linking videos and other resources with each article to give you an easy path to beginning.
We hope you are as excited as we are.