Getting the full benefits from running and tips on staying fit and healthy

FUN RUN?

FUN RUN?

With New Year’s Resolutions now in full swing, many of us are working on our fitness. Running has become very popular and is a great way to improve aerobic fitness, tone-up and lose body-fat. High-intensity forms of exercise bring a higher risk of injury and great care must be taken when starting a running program to stay pain-free and ensure you enjoy your training…

Getting started / Important

running tips

If in doubt, check it out! If you’ve any concerns about your health, get a check-up with a health professional before starting your running program. Any heart or lung problems – talk to your doctor. For any new / old muscle or joint issues, go to a sports therapist for an assessment, treatment and advice.

Wear suitable clothing to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Wearing extra clothes to sweat more will dehydrate your muscles, so you run slower and burn LESS BODY FAT!! Remove tags and avoid clothing that may chafe. Choose footwear to suit the terrain you’ll be running on and ask for advice from experienced runners on brands... Like ‘Prince Charming’ it may take a little trial and error before you’ll find the perfect fit!

Plan your route. Soft ground is easier on joints so choose fields, pitches if possible. Beginners should start with flat routes first, then hills when ready. Measure your routes and times to keep track of progress. Pick well lit, safe routes, with good surfaces and inform somebody about where you’re going if running alone and off the beaten track.

Warm-up, Warm-down and Stretch. Your body needs to be prepared for high-intensity activity by warming-up for approximately 8 – 10 mins. Start gently with a walk / slow jog, gradually increase to a moderate pace (slow / faster jog), then progress to your full pace. Warm–down at the end by doing this in reverse. Stretch as many muscles as possible while still warm (within 30 mins of warm-down) holding each stretch for 1 minute. Emphasise calves, hamstrings, glutes, piriformis, shins, quads and hip flexors.

Running technique. A heel-strike runner (landing on the heel and rolling onto the ball of the foot) hits the ground with force approx. 2½ times their body weight. A runner with a 1 metre stride length hits the ground 5,000 times while running 5km (that’s 2,500 times on each leg). Do the maths and you’ll see that’s a lot of stress on the cartilage, bones, joints and muscles!

The barefoot running technique is gaining popularity in recent years. It’s said to lower the stress on the joints by approximately 30%! This running technique places extra workload on the calf muscles which may become tight so stretch them daily for at least 1 minute x 3 and get regular deep-tissue massage to prevent Achilles tendon injuries. Note – calf tension is much easier to resolve than cartilage damage!

Technique tip

Practice running on a treadmill as softly and quietly as you can to reduce the impact force of each step. Ask a running coach, experienced fitness instructor or personal trainer to observe your running technique and give you advice. Important points

Drink water!!! With well hydrated muscles, you can perform better, run faster for longer and burn more fat as fuel. Also great for flushing toxins from your body… 2 litres+ per day is recommended.

Eat clean, natural, unprocessed foods… A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wholegrains, fish, lean meats etc… gives you the nutrients and energy you need to build a fitter, stronger, leaner, more athletic body..

Rest… we use nutrients from food to create a fitter body, cell by cell, in the 48 – 72 hours after training. Make real gains and help prevent injuries by taking time to recover. Training when tired is counterproductive, it affects running technique and teaches your body to run inefficiently.

Listen to your body. It knows when to push harder / ease off and when to stop. Work close to, but within, your own limits which can vary from day to day to achieve the best results…

Health Matters Multi-disciplinary Health Clinic, Clonmel and Thurles

Neuromuscular Therapy; Back Pain, Neck Pain, Frozen shoulder, Trapped nerves, restless leg etc…

Sports Therapy; Runners knee, Achilles Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, I.T.B Syndrome and Piriformis syndrome, Tennis elbow etc…

Personal Training: Personalised routines and advice to suit your lifestyle…

Course provider: E.P.P.I.C Flexibility workshop for coaches and athletes…

Back to Health 5-week Program for rehabilitation and treatment of back pain.

Contact Neil Dennehy on 087 629 3729 for more information / to book your appointment…

Next week - Part 2 of Health Matters Fun Run article – Common running injuries, prevention and treatment…