So, you want to start running? Congratulations -- that’s exciting! Running is a great way to stay fit and healthy. If you’re just beginning, you’ll need to reel your excitement in a bit, since diving in too quickly can end your training not long after you start! You don’t want a foot or ankle injury to stop you in your tracks. Follow these training tips for new runners to stay healthy and safe and keep your running routine going strong:
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes with the types of features your unique feet need. Specialty stores have a knowledgeable staff who can fit you properly and determine the right shoe for you.
- Warm up! You need to prepare your body for the work ahead, so be sure to get your muscles warm prior to your workout.
- Start slow and build gradually. Don’t go out and run 6 miles as fast as you can! Instead, run a mile, or even break it up with walking, then slowly add distance, and don’t worry about your pace.
- Make it a routine. Try to pick a time of day and stick to it. Eventually it will become a daily habit. Keeping a running log can help you see your progress.
- Take rest days and cross-train. While a consistent routine is important, taking a day off here and there will allow your body time to recuperate. Incorporating low-impact activities like lifting weights, biking, swimming, or yoga is a great way to avoid overuse injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and Achilles tendinitis, just to name a few.
- Set small goals for yourself to achieve, daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Join a running group and participate in fun events if you need a little boost to stay motivated and not get bored.
- Make sure you eat, sleep, and drink! Eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and staying hydrated are all important for you to feel and run your best.
Beginning to run is a big step that shouldn’t be taken lightly! Follow these tips to start a running program safely and avoid injuries. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida if you need any additional help getting started on your new fitness plan. Dial 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if calling from Lake County). We’re here for you if you need us!