With most running events and triathlons back on the calendar this year, many of us are itching to get back to running outside. But before you tie on your running shoes and head out the door, keep in mind a few quick tips to make the most of your spring running.
Ramp up slowly
It is easy to want to pick up running where you last left off. Regardless of your fitness level, be careful about ramping up quickly. Too much or too fast increases the chances of injury. A gradual progression will help keep you off the injured list. As a general rule of thumb, stick to a 10 per cent increase week over week. Three sessions a week with recovery days in between will provide consistency and help your body build endurance. Shorter consistent training is better for you than one long session a week.
Warm up. This is a portion a lot of people neglect – to their detriment. You need to wake up the neuromuscular system before setting off on a run. Warm up before each run session.
Run Tall. Practice running with a tall posture and a higher cadence. If you start your season training your body to take shorter strides, it will reduce the stress on the body. Focus on a cadence between 170 and 180 per minute.
Vary your route. Switch up your routes and surfaces. This is not only motivating, but will break up the stress on your body.
Set a goal
Whether you have been running for years, or are brand new to the sport: Set. A. Goal. This will provide purpose, and drive you to maintain consistency. Make your goal challenging, yet achievable. Plan the steps to achieve your goal and then put that plan into action.