Running has always been somewhat popular. It appears easy, needs minimal equipment and best of all, it requires next to little financial commitment.
It also has so many health benefits from improving aerobic fitness and mental health, reducing risk of disease and illness. For more many people, it transfers into other areas of life such as making positive changes in their nutrition behaviours, time management skills both professionally and personally, and also how they interact with others.
The 2019 Coronavirus pandemic as brought about a new way of life that for many, has had negative implications. However. it’s during this time that the number of “new” runners has soared thanks to the long term closure of gyms, fitness clubs and sports facilities. Add the restrictions and lockdown enforcements, people have craved the need to get out and enjoy nature.
It is fantastic to see so many people taking part in the sport that we love. However, many have encountered set backs such as injuries and illness. This is almost always due to “too much, too soon.”
One thing is for sure, conditioning is KEY to preventing injury. As mentioned in the previous blog post, getting ahead with strength before you begin running is pivotal to your longevity in the sport. A good idea is to focus on broader strength to begin with and then more specific strength relevant to the running movement.
So I hear you ask “How do I know when I’m ready to run?”
Simply put, if you can do ankle hops and jumps effectively on single leg for more than 1 minute each, you’re ready to start running. The couch to 5km type model is a perfect place to start. This allows you to gently and progressively accumulate load without overload if done correctly. However, too frequently people “run” into injury problems around weeks 4-6km and there is good reason for this. The typical training program just focuses on building volume and length of continuous running and at an easy pace.
However our experienced coaches recognised that often a beginner’s fitness falls short of their optimal form, leading to sub optimal form for long exposure periods. In time, this lack of form leads to overload most often in lower limbs due to decreased vertical force production and increased absorption and braking forces.
At Run Like A Girl Australia, our coaches have recreated a Beginners Running Program that is adopts some aspects of Couch to 5km but also uses other key components of running to improve running technique and fitness. Whilst our course is 8 weeks, we’ve fine tuned our program so well that majority of our members graduate to the 5km distance by weeks 5-6.
So don’t fool around or experiment with yourself. Get it right from the beginning. Get a coach!
Better yet, contact us for online coaching and if you’re local to Melbourne, come along to our complimentary training sessions if you’re signed up to any of our programs.