Even though running is essentially just a faster version of walking, people are often intimidated by the thought of starting to run for fitness. We say: take the first step…today! But, since running can be hard on your body, there are a few important things to remember before you start ticking off the mileage.
We asked ultramarathoner, triathlete, coach and Super Squad member Gina Middaugh her advice for training injury free. Here’s what she had to say:
Get yourself a good pair of running shoes (and insoles). My preference has always been Brooks Running shoes and Superfeet insoles. Don’t wait until your knees or back start hurting—I like to rotate my running shoes and insoles every 3-4 months. Depending on your mileage, this can be stretched from 4-6 months.
Start slow and ease into distance and speed work. As a coach, I often see injuries in runners who are trying to do too much, too soon, and/or too fast. Do not add more than 10% per week to your running volume. For instance, if you run 10 miles one week, run 11 miles in week two, and so forth.
Listen to Your Body
If you are feeling tired, take a break. It’s your body’s way of telling you to chill and you should listen. Rest days are just as important as speed workouts and long runs.
Roll it Out
Make friends with the foam roller. Self massage via the foam roller can do wonders to keep any injuries or nagging issues at bay. Confused what to do with a foam roller? Just Google some how-to videos on YouTube. There are a ton of great videos on how to use a foam roller.
Mix it Up
Cross train! Although running is my favorite activity, I am a firm believer in cross training. Biking and swimming can do wonders for your aerobic capacity, while keeping you in great running shape.
From self-massage and starting off slow, to investing in proper footwear and insoles, following these tips is an easy way to ease into injury free training for fitness running. Follow Gina Middaugh on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, HappyTriGirl, for a look into her training regimen.