January 18th, 2013

Health N' Sports: Helping New Runners

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: Helping New Runners
photo is from www.be-fit.me/motivation-for-beginning-runners-871/

Health N’ Sports: First Time Runners

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic: How to Begin A Program

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Article By: Tommy Board, PTA with comments by Sacred Heart Academy’s Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Rick Heim

Running is a great activity.  It's a fairly straight forward activity that’s reasonably inexpensive to get into and it's something the entire family can do together.  Now, I'm fairly new to the physical therapy world, however I have a great deal of experience running.  I had the pleasure of being screamed at by my company commander at boot camp, then at Naval Aircrew Candidate School.  One thing I have noticed is that folks tend to get the running fever with the running series, The Triple Crown, that is held locally leading up to the "Mini" as the final race before the Kentucky Derby.  

Start Off On the Right Foot

If you haven't run in a while or haven’t ever, your short term goal over the next 3-4 weeks is to maximize your results and NOT injure yourself.   Shoes tend to be the biggest portion of the budget when getting into running.  May I suggest you not go to the clearance rack, or look for the cheapest pair?  I recommend you also go to one of the local running stores that still have employees that are in the "know" of running that can help you find the best fit for your foot.  The shoe that looks the prettiest might not be the one that helps you run efficiently.

Test Yourself

So now you have some good running shoes.  What next?  Just take off running?  No.  You have to know what kind of fitness level you are at.  It's time to take the 1 mile test.  The 1 mile test should be run at a pace that is more than easy, but not a struggle.  Most tracks will take 4 laps around to equal a mile, or you can use Google maps or a GPS type of program to set out a 1 mile path.  Now that you have a reference, you will have the ability to track your performance and measure whether you are making gains on your 1 mile time.

Sacred Heart Academy Cross Country and Track Head Coach Rick Heim’s Tip: “Get your long slow runs in over distance. It’s important for your body to be able to stay out and run for a long time. It builds your VO2 max, but it also keeps the heart rate up and benefits all bodily systems as well. (In the winter) cover your ears and hands, and get a good warm up. The best time to run is always the morning because it keeps your heart rate up a little more than normal all day.”

Important Components

You have a good set of shoes and you know what your base line time is for your mile.  Next, is setting things into motion.  Consistency is key to your success as you either train for a 5k or the mini marathon.

With the weather as crazy as it can be, realize that on race day, it could be sunny or rainy, so if it is raining and you can do it safely, try it out.  However, if you just can't stand to run in the rain, a treadmill can be a good substitution as well.  Your workout should have the following components.

1. 5 minute warm up

2. Stretch

3. 25-30 minutes in your target heart rate or distance you are running

4. Cool down

5. Stretch

Heim’s tip:Before you run make sure you eat on the light side, and after you run, get your recovery fluids of foods – Chocolate Milk.”

Change It Up to Prevent Injury

On the days you don't run, you can supplement with alternating days of upper/lower body strengthening.  I had the opportunity to spend my first two years learning from my lead physical therapist that had a firm grip on the relationship of hip strength, correlating to knee strength and running.  I recommend that you not neglect the outside hip muscles when it comes to running.  Yes, it's not as exciting as the leg press or squat rack, but a strong gluteus medius will help prevent wear and tear on the inside of the knee joint.  It will also help prevent lateral hip pain.

Heim’s tip: “Run three days and take a light day or a day off when you begin. Listen to your body. Your age will matter here as well. Cross training is good, and I prefer the pool and weight room, but do it for the running equivalent. Also, injuries happen mostly because shoes are worn and we usually don’t do a post workout stretch.”

Beginners Guide

A lot of the running authorities suggest following hard a day/easy day schedule.  If you are new to running, limit your week to 1 big run, for example; a longer distance at a slower pace or run a shorter distance at a higher pace.  The American College of Sports Medicine states that you need 20 minutes of continuous running, three or four times a week, to begin accumulating the important benefits of an exercise program.  Below is a sample taken from www.runnersworld.com as a guide to a 10 week training program.

Week    Run                  Walk                 Repeat              Total Time

1          1 min                2 min                7x                     21 min

2          1 min                 1 min               10x                   20 min

3          2 min                 1 min               7x                     21 min

4          3 min                1 min                5x                     20 min

5          4 min                 1 min               4x                     20 min

6          6 min                 1 min               3x                     21 min

7          9 min                 1 min               2x                     20 min

8        12 min                  1 min               Then run 7 min   20 min

9        15 min                 1 min                 Then run 4 min  20 min

10        20 min                Leap for joy                              20 min

If you have not exercised for a long time, are overweight, or have existing or family health problems, see your physician before you begin this or any other fitness program.  

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790
Website: louortho.com

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Do you have a question or health issue that you would like a Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic Physical Therapist to answer? Please email your questions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.


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