Here in the Midwest, winter is losing its grip and spring is just around the corner. For many, runners and non-runners alike, the roads and trails are calling out loudly to come and play. Everyone wants to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Whether you ran on the treadmill all winter or are just getting back into an exercise routine, spring is a great time to plan your running and race schedule for the year. As you decide which fast-approaching events you want to participate in, you are extra motivated to jumpstart your training. It is also an easy time to get injured.
If you do too much, too quickly, you risk getting injured, potentially knocking yourself out of the competition before you even start. Your body is designed to adapt but it cannot do so too quickly. Here are some tips for getting your season off to a good start.
Set reasonable running goals: Avoid adding more than 10% to your total mileage each week.
Work on flexibility: Whether you stretch after a run or engage in yoga on your non-running days, flexibility can help prevent injuries.
Build your strength: If your upper body and core are stronger, your runs will be more comfortable and less taxing.
Here is something you can start doing now to effectively add time, strength training and additional cardio as you work to increase your mileage. Finish your weekly long run at the bottom of a steep hill and power walk up the hill as quickly as you can, driving with your legs and using your arms to help propel you. Alternatively, use a treadmill at its maximum incline setting — ideally 12-15%. Power walk for a set time or distance (not to exceed 10% of the run). This exercise will build strength in your running muscles and add to your total cardiovascular load, but without the pounding.
If you would like assistance setting goals or increasing your strength and flexibility, contact certified personal trainer, Jeff Miller, of I M Fitness Training, Inc.
Submitted by: I M Fitness Training, Inc., www.IMFitnessTraining.com
Jeff Miller, 507-369-6699, Jeff@IMFitnessTraining.com