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The thrill of running can be addictive. Even if you’ve not been running for a while, it might be there calling you back.
You might be sitting on the sofa, feeling guilty about that extra cupcake, wondering if you should be burning calories instead of taking them in. You might drive along a road that you used to run down and wish that your feet could be pounding the pavements again, or you could hear about a local race and wish that you were taking part. The atmosphere of a race is one that can’t be replicated, and something that you’re sure to miss.
So if now is your time to get back into running, how can you avoid being injured? Here are five top tips:
Everything you do can alter your body. In most cases, the changes are temporary. Your body was conditioned to run in the past, but it won’t stay conditioned forever. If you’ve taken a break from running then don’t start again with a 10k race.
Treat yourself as a beginner. Gradually build yourself up again. Follow a Couch to 5k plan or similar, because your muscles, joints and lungs won’t be prepared for too much work.
You’ll probably find that you can build yourself up to longer and faster runs more quickly than a first time runner, but you should work that out bit by bit rather than trying too much at once.
If you’ve been running before then you’ll know the importance of the right equipment – the correct clothes and a pair of well-fitting running shoes that have been purchased following professional gait analysis. Bear in mind that if it’s been a while since your last run, you might need new equipment. Your body shape may have changed, your gait might have adjusted slightly, and did you also know that shoes wear down over time even when they’re not being worn? Don’t rely on your old running equipment being up to the job once again.
Supports and braces (including compression supports and stabilising supports) can also help to ensure that you don’t do any damage to your joints.
When you’re getting back into running, it can be tempting to throw yourself back in with the hope that you’ll improve faster than you did last time. Unfortunately, working your body too hard is almost guaranteed to cause an injury. It could be an immediate injury, or something slow burning that you don’t notice for a while. Plan a sensible schedule. Include short runs for speed improvement, longer runs for endurance (building up slowly) and plenty of rest days to give your body a break.
Running alone is not going to optimise your body. Grab yourself a gym membership card, and include some days spent using the weights and other exercise equipment. You’ll improve your overall fitness and stamina.
Bio: Ecuva is an online retailer stocking an extensive selection of products for health, wellbeing, fitness and everyday life. Products stocked include supports and braces for sport and fitness activities.