While the weather is still pleasant and we’re forced to do as many activities as we can outdoors, it’s not a bad time to pick up running. It seems like an easy way to get your cardio workouts in, but training improperly can lead to stagnation or injury.
Common injuries from running are known as overtraining injuries. The shock from running (think about how many steps you take in even one mile) are a lot on your body. Your knees, shins, hips, back and feet are all susceptible to injury.
The first thing you need to do is buy proper footwear. If you’re going to run, you need running shoes! Regular workout shoes won’t cut it, they’re simply not built for running. The second thing you should do is download a running app like Strava on your phone so that you can track your mileage. Finally, you should find a comfortable place to run where you don’t have to stop too often.
Start with two runs per week. Run one mile each time. If it’s too hard to run one mile, you can alternate between walking and running.
Once you can run a mile continuously in under 10 minutes two days per week, you’re ready to progress to two miles. Once you can run two miles with an average pace under 10 minutes per mile, you’re ready to split between speed and distance days.
Dedicate one day per week to distance training. Every three weeks, increase your distance running day by one mile. Keep your other running day short at around two miles. Use this as a speed day to increase your mile time. Focus on running as fast as possible, and try to beat your time each week.
Keeping one speed day and one distance day will limit the amount of running you do in any given week while preparing you to run a greater distance over time. If done properly, you’ll get faster while avoiding injury!
Written by Coach Henry Halse