Run Pain Free Program
Typical summer mornings witness droves of people running outside in hopes of burning their winter blubber. Looks good to see so many people partaking in a fitness activity to improve their health. The only problem is this zealousness doesn’t last long.
Because of nagging hip, knee, and calf pain/shin splints. People who’re trying to break-in to fitness world by a simple instinctive activity (running) aren’t even fit enough to perform it.
As ridiculous as it may sound, but first you have to get fit to start running. You can’t just decide one day and start running out of the blues. Sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting take its toll by tightening up your hip-flexors and deactivating your glute muscles. This leads to poor stabilization stride for stride and eventually leaves you in some sort of painful condition.
Keep in mind that running requires a great deal of single limb stability strength throughout the hips, knees, and ankles. You won’t go far unless you take a proper care of running prerequisites well in advance and proceed in an intelligent manner.
Run Pain Free : Prerequisites
Here’s a list of things you need to consider beforehand when planning to initiate a running program.
- Break your sedentary lifestyle by moving more daily. Get up every 30 to 60 mins and take a short stroll or do some mobility drills. The purpose is to break the monotonicity of sitting endlessly and give your muscles & joints some motion which leads to a better mobility.
- Perform some mobility work daily. Use dynamic movements to work your joints through their full range of motion, perform some stretching and self-myofascial release techniques. Your each foot bears a force of three times your body weight when running. Rolling your plantar fascia (bottom of foot) with a ball provides stimulation to more than 1,50,000 nerve endings in each foot, and relieves tension in calves, hamstrings, and lower back.
- Before starting your running workout, thoroughly warm up like you would before an intense leg training session. Do some reverse walks and forward walks alternatively, it opens up the hip joint and activates the leg musculature.
- Keep the intensity low for the first few workouts of your running program. Do not just start sprinting the first day of your training. Build some endurance-strength by varying your pace during workout but keep the intensity moderate. Also, be mindful of the terrain you’re using for running. Always start slow when trying a new terrain like hills, pavement or road. Your IT-band and knees will thank you later.
Optimizing Your “Run Pain Free” Program
You can do certain things to optimize your running program and make it as much conducive to long term progression as possible. Not to anyone’s surprise, such techniques also make your program joint friendly and “unpainful”.
Below are three techniques which had helped numerous runners with varied running programs.
1. Shorten Your Stride
First of all, start by running at your natural pace and count the number of steps your left/right foot takes in one minute. If your number is less than 88 steps, then it means that you’re over-striding. This increases the impact forces on your joint structure.
Next, work on improving the efficiency of your stride by taking shorter and quicker steps. Try to increase your rate by 10% while maintaining the speed of running. Research clearly demonstrates that not only shorter stride length creates fewer impact forces on hips, knees, and shins that can cause knee valgus, but it also creates a higher metabolic demand and fat loss.
2. Progress Conservatively in Running
You may be tempted to sprint right off the bat when embarking upon a running program. But restrain yourself because it’s the fastest way to get injured and hurt. You may even want to start jogging an hour each day to speed up your fat loss, but it’s also not a good idea initially.
Instead, start your running program from a slow jog of 20 minutes three times a week. When you’re just initiating a new training program, you don’t need much exercise volume to boost fat loss. As your efficiency improves after first few weeks, increase training volume by increasing the running time each week by 5 minutes for the next few weeks before increasing frequency.
Also, when increasing frequency, start at the lowest volume and build upon it.
3. Wear Proper Running Shoes
Barefoot running is great when running on a soft surface like grass, but when running on a hard surface wear proper running shoes to avoid excessive wear and tear.
Always wear fresh shoes for running, and retire those worn-out shoes from your running gear. Worn-out shoes cause faulty running mechanics leading to overstressing certain lower body musculature. This causes pain and discomfort. So, always choose proper shoes for running.