As gyms continue to remain closed many people have picked up running, but could it be leading to injuries?
As gyms and fitness centers across the country remain closed and gathering for group sports such as soccer and basketball is still prohibited in most public parks, many individuals have turned to running as their main form of physical activity. Here at Walnut PT and Performance we continue to stress the importance of movement and exercise during this pandemic but also want to educate the public that running can be a different experience for everyone.
Running is a calming, almost meditative activity for some, but can also be a torturous task that may lead to sprained ankles, plantar fasciitis or Iliotibial band syndrome for others. There are many factors that contribute to success with running, especially those who are picking up the sport for the first time. Below are a couple of things to consider before lacing up and heading out.
1. Proper shoe wear and running surfaces – Whether you plan to run on a treadmill, the concrete sidewalk around your house or on a dirt trail, it is important to make sure you have proper foot attire. Different surfaces will impose different demands on the body. Running on uneven surfaces or running in the evening when light is dimmed may increase your risk for injuries. Shoe characteristics can help with anatomical differences such as arch height and feet width as well as biomechanical differences such as whether you are a forefoot or heel striker. Our team can analyze your running style and provide shoe suggestions as well as an individualized program to assist in your training.
2. “You have to be fit to run, not run to get fit.” This is a quote that has stuck with me since PT school. Just like with power lifting, swimming, tennis or football, your foundational strength and mobility will play a huge role in determining your success with running. Even if you have had previous experience working out, did your routine include any single leg exercises because running is literally a single leg activity with hundreds to thousands of constant repetitions? Total training volume with a gradual progression is also an important factor to consider especially if you are training for a race such as a 10k or half marathon.
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort with running, training for an upcoming race or marathon or just simply want to have your running mechanics analyzed and an individualized running program developed, our team can help! Our goal is to ensure the longevity of your body and health to allow you to keep on moving!
-Dr. Vincent Huynh, PT, DPT, CSCS