Now don’t get me wrong as we get older I’m sure we would all agree that we start to feel more aches and pains as well as taking longer to heal and recuperate compared to when we were in our twenties. But that shouldn’t stop anyone, pop along to your local park run and you will see people of all ages pounding the streets.
When you consider a whopping 42,549 people ran this year’s London marathon alone, which was a new record. It’s oldest participant who is 85 years old ran the first London marathon at the age of 47 and is still going, not missing a single one since its inception in 1981. Running is by far one of the most popular and accessible forms of exercise, it’s just a case of knowing your limits and listening to your body.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner training for a specific event there’s a few top tips that you should follow to keep those legs moving and try to stay as injury free as possible:
Gone are the days of childhood where we could leave the front door of home or the classroom and go straight into a sprint without fear of pulling a muscle. As we’ve grown we have been taught that warm ups are important to prepare the body for the activity ahead. A simple 5-10 minute routine of stretching before, and even after, will help to keep that tightness at bay. I’m a huge fan of walking lunges and heel presses, but if that sounds like too much don’t be afraid to start at a walking pace and slowly build up into your run, there’s no shame in going at your own pace.
It’s never too late to lift a weight. Now we’re not talking, joining a gym and building muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger, just starting with either some simple body weight exercises or joining a fitness class. Don’t be afraid to be the new person at a pilates class, everyone there was new at some point and by developing an all-round fitness with a bit more muscle you are far more likely to run injury free for longer.
Have a personal goal
For some its striving to hit a new personal best (PB), for others it might be spending less time walking and more time running. But just remember we’re all individuals so make sure whatever target you give yourself its personal to you and most importantly its realistic and achievable. You’ll be surprised what you can do with a goal in mind and feel so great when you get there. If you have never run before and are thinking of starting you may have heard of the walk/run theory. Have a route in mind and start walking it, gradually over time start to add afew simple jogs here and there, and before you know it those jogs will become longer and faster, just take your time and move the goal to another level each time you achieve.
Know your limits
I mentioned it before but it’s important to listen to your body. If you start to go too hard too soon the body and mind will quickly let you know. Don’t be afraid to take a rest day or two. Even if your training for an event and your “schedule” doesn’t allow for one just yet, if you feel like you need a rest you probably do need a rest. And what’s more important, being strict and sticking to a schedule and ending up getting injured, or listening to your body and including an extra day off every now and then to ensure you make that start line come race day. If sitting at home and being inactive isn’t your thing, try something more gentle and less strenuous like going for a walk or even a bike ride with the family.
There’s lots you can do to help yourself and keep you moving. Nutrition is very important, try to eat healthy and get plenty of protein rich foods to help repair those aching muscles. Stay hydrated, before-during-and after. It’s important to drink plenty of water, you may even find the occasional energy drink might help boost those flagging energy levels. Another thing is stretching, I know it’s been mentioned already but stretching isn’t just for when you run it’s something you should try to include on a daily basis, whether there’s a niggly ache or not.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury or pain whilst running no matter how small the problem may be, luckily, you’re at the right place. As a multi-disciplinary clinic, we have a number of professionals that are keen to keep you fit and healthy so if you are a new runner seeking help, or an experienced runner struggling with injury why not book in with one of the team at The House Clinics for an appointment and keep those legs moving.