Finding the motivation to run
Everyone has heard, lack of movement is our generations deadly disease. Obesity comes in second for preventive deaths, only behind smoking. Our lives have shifted so much. The rocking 60’s was a generation that love to get out, party and dance. Fast forward, our lives have become centralised around our homes. We can do practically everything from the tap of our iPhones. This article, I’m going to show you how you can get off the couch and turn your fitness around in 4 weeks.
Scientific research proves that regular exercise can lower your chances of preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes and other cancers. You are only looking at 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to get some positive health outcomes. These activities consist of effort, but a conversation can still be carried out. Or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, that makes you out of breath and puff. One of the most popular forms of exercise is still running. Running is an all body workout, which requires a lot of effort. This is what makes it so beneficial.
How to avoid running injuries
Now let us settle the argument about this issue. That running is bad for your knees? You need to understand how bones and muscles work firstly. Joints need impact to allow the blood and nutrients to get into the deeper areas of the joint that are starved. Every time you run, jump or punch there is a compression of the two articular surfaces. Compression and retracting of the two bones of the joint allows a pumping motion. The pumping motion brings red blood cells into the area assisting with repair and recovery. Another bonus of running is the strengthening of the muscles either side of the adjoining bones to increase stability and resilience.
When we experience pain, in or around the knee. We often conclude that the knee is stuffed. This isn’t always associated with femoral condyles or tibia plateau of the joint but referred muscular and connected tissue dysfunction. These are some of the conditions that can cause pain into the knee:
- IT Band friction syndrome - Which involve tension from the thick tissue of band which runs along the lateral side of the leg and attaches to the Tensor Fasciae Latea.
- Tendonitis of the quadricep muscles – Inflammation around the tendon of the muscle can mimic pain of the knee.
- Patellofermoral syndrome – Condition that describes pain in the front of the knee, around the patella.
- Biomechanics – Running with poor running gait can overwhelm the knee. Putting extra stress on the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments.
How to avoid running injuries
Now let’s get down to work. If you want to go from couch to running, it is important you do the following steps.
- Building up a fitness base which could include walking. We need to strengthen unused muscles and wake up the central nervous system.
- Make sure your stretching and foam rolling muscles e.g. Quads, hamstrings, calves, hip flexors and glutes.
- Run with technique and do not cut corners. Technique wise, focusing running with soft feet. Aiming to run on your forefoot. Pick up your feet so you're flicking your backside with your heels. Keep the chest up and use your arms to propel your body.
- Include slow running with your walk. Intervals consisting of 10 sec jogging – 50 sec walking. Ensures you will be fresh to run with a strong running gait.
- Add 5-10% extra running volume and intensity per month to prevent injury. Example – First Month you aim to Run 500 m/walked 2.5 km. Second month you’ll aim to Run 550 m/walk 2.75 km and so on every month after. This leads to a less likely hood of injury.
- If you do experience pain or discomfort. Stretch and foam roll straight away. Apply ice onto areas of injury to minimise inflammation levels. Decrease running volume or intensity so you can recover better. Also seek advice and guidance from a running coach.
Running should be for everyone. When you first start anything for the first time it’s uncomfortable. If you follow these steps, then you’ll have a great experience. Losing weight, improving your cardiovascular fitness and finding more energy throughout the day. Just do it and you won’t look back.