As our Coppell Cardio Club kicks off it’s second week, it is always good to for everyone to look at your running or jogging form. There are two great tips from a while back from Julie McCan below but I did want to give you a great MobilityWod.
If you have been to an Orientation of ours, you have probably done the “Stand UP” routine where we talked about your alignment and how your body should be. So this video is great to see how what we have preached over the years is also being preached by someone who is internationally known for movement and mobility. Check it out and then take some time to watch the videos and read the running basics.
Start, though, with being conscious of how you are walking. Is it like a duck? If so, start working on straitening your walk out.
Running Basics –
The Tip of the week will help you with your form and posture with running.
Part One: Running Basics
I have never liked running. Although I have gotten somewhat better at doing since I started Boot Camp, it is usually the part of the workout I least enjoy. The reason I don’t enjoy it is because it is hard for me to do and therefore, I am not very good at it either. That said, the only way I know how to overcome my dislike of doing an exercise is to get better at doing it… so running is my current challenge.
My goal is to improve my running enough so that I don’t dread doing it so much. Hopefully, I may end up even looking forward to it. But, in order to get better at running, I know I need to run more than just running during class… a lot more! I decided that having a goal to work toward would provide some motivation for me. So, encouraged by a few others in class (thank you Carla and Stacy), I registered for the White Rock Half Marathon. Yes, that is over 13 miles!
In reality, my goal has now gone beyond to simply improve the dread factor I have toward running and to actually become a decent runner. I started training the first of September and the race is December 5th, 2010 giving me about 3 months to get in the best running shape I can.
How to start? It seemed easy enough – all I needed to do was put on my shoes and go, right? Wrong!
Since I am a beginner when it comes to running, the Trainer in me wanted to do it right. To learn how get the most out of running and become the best runner I can be, I started by doing research. I have found several websites that have helped me but the one I like the best is www.running.about.com. Although I encourage all of you to use it and other resources to help you with your running, I thought I would take you through my journey – both through learning the science and technique – as well as keeping you posted on my progress toward becoming a true runner.
The first thing I had to do was reassess was my running form. Improving your running form can help you run faster, more efficiently, and with less stress on your body. Specifically, I had some concerns about my stride and my breathing. Through information like the tips below, I quickly learned how to move from being a heel runner to a mid-foot runner. I am still working on my breathing technique but using the tips below will help improve that too.
If you are a beginner like me, or just someone that wants to improve your running, going back to important basics will be very helpful.
[Disclaimer! Before you get started on any new exercise program, including running, please check with your Doctor to get medical clearance just to make it is right for you.]
Follow these tips to work on perfecting your running form.
I will put this last tip into practice during my next run and I’ll keep you posted on how well it works for me. Thanks to Christine Luff, for these tips and where you can find more information in here “Guide to Running & Jogging” at www.running.about.com.
Written by Julie McCan. Julie is a Certified Personal Trainer for Get You In Shape.
Part Two: Preventing Pain and Injury While Running
CLICK HERE to see the first tip of this series.
When you first start running, you may experience some initial discomfort and pain with things like side stitches, blisters or chaffing. All of these can be annoying and possibly discourage you from continued running. Don’t quit yet, because there are things you can do to easily prevent these things.
“A side stitch is a sharp, intense pain under the lower edge of the ribcage caused by a muscle spasm of the diaphragm. They’re common in novice runners who tend to breathe more quickly and shallow.”
I mentioned these in Part One of my series but it doesn’t hurt to discuss the treatment and prevention of this annoying and very uncomfortable pain again. The best prevention of side stitches requires just a few simple things; avoid eating within one hour of running, and make sure you are breathing through your mouth AND nose so you get a deep breathe from your stomach not just your chest (note: if you are running in cold weather, try breathing though a scarf or neck warmer).
Although there are some breathing techniques you can enlist if you get a side stitch while you are running, the easiest thing is to stop running and walk briskly while concentrating on deep breathing. You can continue running once it goes away.
“While not a serious injury, blisters — those fluid-filled bubbles of skin on your feet — can be painful and keep you from running.” Preventing blisters from occurring requires the right sock and shoe. Buy socks that are specifically made for running. This alone with help ensure your feet don’t get too much moisture built up that can cause friction and lead to a blister. As for shoes, buy them 1/2 size large than you normally wear. This made a huge difference for me. When you run, your feet actually swell so you want to make sure you have enough room to prevent any rubbing that may lead to a blister.
“Chafing is caused by repeated motion — specifically, skin rubbing against loose fabric or other skin.” Again, prevention lies in wearing the right things — in this case, synthetic clothing — something that will wick away the moisture so it doesn’t get wet. In a long run, wet clothing will stay wet and rub on your skin, causing the discomfort of chaffing. You can also put vaseline or other types of chaffing cream on trouble areas.
Once you’ve been running for a while, you may start to experience more serious pain or even injury. Through my research on this topic, I have consistently found that “most common running injuries are due to overuse, overtraining, improper shoes, or a biomechanical flaw in body structure and motion.” From a biomechanical perspective, it is always best to go back to the basics of your posture (see Part One of this series) to ensure you are running with good form and technique. If you aren’t sure, have someone watch you or video you while running. You can also go to a specialty store to have your stride analyzed.
Christopher McDougall, author of the book, “Born to Run” started the barefoot running craze based on a lot of research and running experience. Whether you want to become a barefoot runner or not, he (and others I researched) give some great advice on how you can use running barefoot to help train your foot and your body to run more efficiently. Refer to the bottom of this article for the link to some great discussion and demonstration of these techniques.
That said, to make it easier for you to get some quick guidelines on injury prevention, I have provided the following from Christine Luff’s website www.running.about.com. These things will help ensure you can continue to run injury free.
Learn more about these common running injuries, their causes, and treatments, click on the links below.
Ankle sprains are often caused by the twisting or rolling of your ankle and result in swelling and pain above and around the ankle.
Runners, especially those training for long-distance events, can suffer from black toenails, caused by the toes rubbing up against the front of the running shoe. A blood blister forms under the toenail and the nail eventually falls off.
While not a serious injury, blisters — those fluid-filled bubbles of skin on your feet — can be painful and keep you from running.
Chafing is caused by repeated motion — specifically, skin rubbing against loose fabric or other skin.
Illiotibial Band Syndrome
Marked by a sharp, burning knee or hip pain, Illiotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is a very common injury among runners.
Muscle Pulls or Strains
Muscle pulls and strains are common and annoying injuries for runners, marked by pain and tightness in the affected muscle.
A common complaint among long-distance runners, runner’s knee feels like a soreness around and sometimes behind the kneecap.
Links to sources and information on barefoot running techniques:
Christopher McDougall’s interview:
Two good ones from Newton Running:
Written by: Julie McCan, CPT Julie is on the www.GetYouInShape.com team of personal trainers. Get You In Shape has is a Fitness Company in the Dallas, TX area. Coppell boot camps, Dallas boot camps, private training, 24 Day Challenge, weight loss, sports performance and nutrition are the main services of Get You In Shape.