Dec. 10, 2012
-- I think it’s fair to say that most runners are happy to simply run. All you really require to enjoy the sport is a pair of trainers and a combination of t-shirt, shorts, sweatshirt & pants, most of which can normally be found as standard in everybody’s wardrobe. Nevertheless, I am confident that there’s more to running than just a run and that runners should be urged to consider other elements and become a better runner.
My first bit of advice is this; get the right gear. I see runners pounding the streets in their cotton ‘finishers’
t-shirt from their last event and a pair of trainers that also double up as gardening/squash/
gym/walking the dog shoes. However, it’s important to train in clothing that is comfortable, doesn’t chafe, wicks sweat away from your skin and fits correctly. In addition, make sure you have a pair of specific running trainers that fit your feet. Every runner has a unique running style and gait, their feet strike the ground in numerous ways and your running shoes should accommodate this. Visit a specific running shop or see a reputable Physio or Sports Therapist who will analyse the way you run and advise you accordingly.
My second bit of guidance is to stop ignoring pain. Look after your body, especially if you are running regularly and consistently. Use sports massage as prevention rather than a cure. It is a tight muscle that has a higher risk of injury so use deep tissue massage to keep your muscles loose. Incorporate a thorough stretching routine into your weekly training schedule or do a yoga class. Try Pilates to strengthen your core and help you become a more efficient runner. This will alleviate the stress on your muscles and reduce the likelihood of tightness, pain and damage.
Finally, use a variety of training methods as part of your running schedule. Run routes where you will experience an assortment of scenery and terrain. Alternate your running with other sports, whatever you enjoy, as a substitute to running and keep your training interesting. Using this approach means you will look forward to your runs as you aren’t running all of the time and you will be exercising other muscle groups, thereby reducing the impact on your body and avoiding injury.
So, treat yourself to some modern gear, reward yourself for training well with a deep tissue massage and add diversity to your training schedules.