This is an article I wrote for Woman’s Way recently
1. Start slow
To make it more pleasant for yourself and to reduce your risk of injuries, start with run/walk method, go slowly and don’t run more than 3 times a week with rest days in between. Don’t worry about your pace or distance, all that matters is that you’re running. Check out the couch to 5k app or podcast.
2. Always warm up, cool down and stretch
Before running, you should do some dynamic stretches (such as rolling your shoulders back and hip circles) followed by a brisk 5 minutes walk to warm up your joints and muscles. This is essential for prevention injuries. After your run, walk briskly for at least 5 minutes and finish off with static stretches that you hold for at lest 30 seconds – this will prevent tightness and soreness the next day.
3. Listen to your body
Never ignore pain. Pain is a sign that something is wrong and it rarely goes away on its own. Try to figure out what is causing the pain, have a good sports massage and take time off running when needed. Running through pain, which runners often talk about, will only make an injury worse. Very common causes for pain and injuries are bad posture, weak core and tight muscles, in particular calves.
4. Run with a group
Running can be a great social activity as you can chat while you run, which makes it much more fun and time seems to go much faster. The support from your running buddies, not to
mention a little peer pressure, will keep you going when you feel like stopping.
5. Cross train
More and more runners and athletes are taking up yoga as they realise its benefits for injury prevention, strengthening muscles, and improving breathing and many more. If
you can’t get to a class check out www.yogaglo.com. Other great activities for runners are pilates and swimming.