3 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Runner

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in Release, Realign, Relieve | No Comments

by Dr. Aliya (chiropractor, acupuncture provider, yoga instructor and running enthusiast!)

This year I celebrated my 10 years of running anniversary! 10 years of countless early morning or late evening runs, heaps of races and a handful of injuries. As I look back over the the last 10 years, there are things I wouldn’t change at all and then there are things…well, let’s just say I could have done a bit better. I’ve made some bad decisions that resulted in overuse injuries, painful races and wasted effort!

I decided I would share with you some things I wish someone had told me when I first started running – let’s call them Lessons Learned (the hard way)!

Lesson Learned #1: It’s not just about “The Run”

Yes, running itself is very satisfying and it costs almost nothing at all, however a strong cardiovascular system (lungs and heart) are only part of the equation.

Building core strength and muscular endurance helps prevent injuries and promotes an efficient run gait or stride. Hip and core strengthening are crucial components to cross-training that help you overcome overuse injuries such as IT Band Pain (ouchy!) or Hamstring strains (double ouchy!).

Lesson Learned #2: Get some good ‘kicks’!

Non-supportive shoes or even over-supportive shoes (too much motion control) could lead to poor running biomechanics and possibly injury. It’s important to invest in a quality running shoe that helps support YOUR feet. Take the time to have a knowledgeable specialist look at your feet, your gait cycle and advise you as to which shoes will help support you while running. Having a great pair of runners can dramatically help your running and you’ll be able to become a more efficient runner.

Lesson Learned #3: Success at running takes time…

A lot of time. Running comes with gradual training and consistency. Injuries happen. Learning to get back on the road the smart way is part of the game.

Dramatic increases in intensity/speed or mileage usually lead to injury. Remember to increase your speed OR your mileage gradually. Be patient. Take the time to achieve moderate increases over a longer period of time which will lead to sustained improvement in your runs.

Don’t get me wrong….running is awesome and with time it becomes second nature and a part of your life. Let’s just say it becomes slightly addictive. But for some, it comes at a price (injuries, blisters, discomfort, etc). It pays to learn how to run effectively and efficiently. Take your time and in the meantime, just enjoy the ride!