Spring Running, Listen to Your Body and Get Outdoors with these 5 Tips
The change in the season means it’s time to change our workout and training plans and this may include spring running. For some, this means lacing up for the first time this year for a walk or run outdoors. For others this means transitioning from the treadmill to the road or trails. The arrival of Spring also reminds us that the 2016 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is quickly approaching and it’s time to get more focused and consistent with our workouts.
If you’re looking for some extra spring running motivation or prep runs, check out the Run Ottawa’s free Saturday 5K series. The 5K events are held at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. This is a great way to keep your running habits up over the spring, summer and fall at a family friendly event.
On top of the many benefits of spring running, exercising in the fresh air is bound to give your runner’s high an extra boost. You are also more likely to run longer distances and more often in the great outdoors than you would in the gym.
Now that you are feeling motivated to get outside, here are 5 tips to make the transition from the treadmill to the road more comfortable on your body for spring running:
1. Replace Your Shoes
Whether you are getting back into running or you are training for a race this spring, the change of season is a great time to take a good look at your running shoes and consider replacing them. Your running shoes are essential in the protection of your feet and joints. They must absorb shock, control motion, and be flexible and durable. When shoes start to break down they no longer support your feet or your body well. If you are experiencing new running aches such as sore arches, shin pain, stiff knees or annoying blisters, your body is telling you that it’s time for new shoes.
There are many features to consider when selecting your shoes including your foot type as well as the shape, construction and midsole.
2. Consider Orthotics
Your body may require extra support to keep you on track with your spring running. Your feet are unique and the way they move is specific to you and your activities. Imbalances such as fallen arches can cause further problems with your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Foot disorders are extremely common and can cause stress, pain and limited mobility throughout the body. Custom foot orthotics can alleviate dysfunctions and prevent pain and injuries. Furthermore, orthotics increase the mechanical efficiency of the foot allowing you to finish your long runs feeling great! Consult your chiropractor to determine if foot orthotics are the right fit for you.
3. Take Small Steps
Moving your spring running outdoors means that your body has to work harder. You no longer have the assistance of the treadmill pulling your legs backward so your muscles have more work to do. If you choose trails or roads with hills, you will also be asking your muscles for more strength and power. It may take a couple of runs for your joints to get use to the new running surface. Concrete and asphalt is less forgiving than the treadmill so don’t be surprised if your ankles, knees, hips or low back feel a little achy after your first few outdoor runs.
You can ease into it by adding outdoor runs to your weekly schedule while slowly decreasing the number of treadmill runs you do. You can also start your transition to spring running by moving your shorter runs outside while slowly increasing your mileage as your body adapts. Don’t be afraid to take walk breaks. Adding one or multiple short walk breaks to your run can extend your workout, ease the impact on your joints and make you feel stronger.
4. Remember to Stretch
As your body adapts to spring running take extra care to warm up well, hydrate and stretch. Your calves, thighs, hips and buttocks may feel stiff and tight after running on pavement or in the trails. Stretching can help ease this discomfort but save your static stretching for after your run. Static stretching before exercise can weaken performance, tire your muscles and increase your risk of injury. Warming up before your run with dynamic stretches such as bodyweight squats, walking lunges, leg swings, hip circles or butt kicks will prepare your body for a great workout.
5. Get a Tune Up
Finally, as you increase your training, be sure to get regular tune ups to keep your body moving in the right direction. Your chiropractor can help you stay on track by assessing the alignment of your spine and pelvis and correcting for imbalances. Chiropractors are experts in movement patterns and can often spot problems before they occur, preventing future injuries, aches and pains. At Glebe Chiropractic Clinic our team is here to support you and help you reach your goals. You can also take advantage of the upcoming Discover Chiropractic Week from April 11-16 when both our clinics, Byward Chiropractic Clinic + Massage Therapy Centre and Glebe Chiropractic Clinic + Massage Therapy Centre will be offering complimentary consultations and examinations.
Treat your muscles (and mind) to a post-run or most definitely a post-race massage. Experience the many benefits of massage therapy which include easing muscle pain and speeding up recovery, relieving stress, improving circulation, and feeling relaxed. Book your appointment today with a registered massage therapist! Massages can be booked online, in person or contact us at the clinic.
Gift certificates are also available online and can be sent via email to the recipient and can be redeemed at either one of our massage centres in Ottawa.
So don’t fret – you can transition to spring running successfully! Make sure your feet and joints are well supported, ease into it and listen to your body, it knows best!
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