Beginner Running Tips – Preventing an Injury

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,299
    Fitness Expert Ron Bowman discusses preventing an injury.

    Ron Bowman: Hi! I am Ron Bowman and today we are talking about beginning running tips. Next we are going to talk about staying injury free and safe for your running. One of the key things about running that I want you to take away is that you always want to stretch, before and after your run. If your run is going to be 30 minutes, thats all you have got then you want to take at least 5 minutes before your run, and at least 5 minutes after your run for stretching. So that means you are only going to have a 20 minute actual running period. It's that important to make sure that your muscles are loosened up and warmed up and ready for whats going to be coming because if you start running on cold or tight muscles, there is a good chance that at some point you are going to get injured. And when you are doing that you want to make sure that all you are doing is just light stretching to begin with. There is two types of stretches, the before stretch and the after stretch. Before stretch is really just to get the blood flowing, moving in your arms; if you are moving your arms like this, just swing them like a swimmer does when he swings his arms because thats what you are going to be using those muscles. The same thing you are going to lift your knees, get the blood moving, get those muscles saying hey, we are going to be doing something here pretty quick, I need to be warmed up and ready for it. So you are not trying to do anything to stretch the length of the muscles, thats for after the run. So stretching all of those muscles that you can think of, that you use when you are running which by the way is most of the muscles in your body. You are going to want to stretch those, the hips, flexures, the ankles, just keep moving and you can do this while you are getting ready, while you are talking to your friends, before you start running, while you are waiting for your running partner to show up. But always make sure that you do this when you run. Pretty much the same running stretches after you finish running, you are warmed up, all blood of the body is flowing and thats when you do the same stretches but that when you do a little bit more and thats where you can help lengthen those muscles and get a little bit more flexibility in your body if you do a little bit. And it's not to where you feel it, while you are grimacing, it's not painful. It's just a little bit of pull in those muscles as you are doing those stretches. And again you do each stretch for about 3 seconds, release and then 3 seconds more. And thats just to let the muscle know that it gets the most out of it before it starts to kind of contract in anticipation of being overstretched. It's kind of the muscles defense mechanism.

    Now that you have done your warm-up, your body has got some blood flowing and you are ready to get started, you are still not really ready to start running. So I want you to always remember, start out slow, very slow. Much slower than you think that your pace is going to be. And your body will kind of let you know what that is but most people, particularly after they have been running a while will start out their run much too fast. They are thinking about, they are talking with the running partner or they are thinking about what they have got to do the rest of the day and they will start running too fast. You want to start out very slow and very steady until your body is well warmed up in the running motion and you are ready to go and your body will let you know when you are ready to increase this pace a little bit and it will feel more natural to you. The other thing that you want to think about particularly on warm hot days is BodyGlide which is a lubricant for those places that gets chaffed under the arms, around the thighs, sometimes on the ankles, that you have glided those up so you are not going to get any chaffing as you are running. And as you are running, as I said, you want to make sure that you pick places that are as much away from traffic as possible and as often as possible run on a flat surface. If you are running on a camber like this, your body will get used to it and it will feel kind of natural but you are putting an uneven stress on your body on one side. A lot of times that will lead to IT Band Tightness along the side of the leg and you will notice that if you get a sharp pain in the knee or your knees will be sore when you finish, and if it's just one side, you might look at the area that you are running in. Now if there is too much of a slope to it, you might want to look at moving a little bit further up on it, sometimes that may mean running a little closer to the white line in the road and this goes back to always being aware of whats around you, and you can find the flat places in the road as well. A lot of times the roads will be steeper here or steeper there but I know when I run, I will very often cross the road so I can run on a flatter surface in order to keep a more balanced stride when I am running. Okay, now you are just about the end of your run, you have got a sweat going, you are feeling good, you have been paying attention, you solve the problems of the world during your run. And you want to go back to the other thing that I have stressed earlier, when you have finished your run, you dont want to just jump in your car and head back and start your chores for the day. You want to make sure you take that 5 or 10 minutes and do your post run stretching. The other thing that is going to help for recovery is to make sure you drink some fluids right afterwards. If you are running for anything more than 15 or 30 minutes, you want to make sure that you got fluids waiting for you when you finish. That you drink something beforehand and you drink something after you finish. So while you are stretching, you can be drinking your energy drink or just water, whatever. If it's a longer run then you are going to want to have a little bit of nutrition to help the recovery process. But when you are just beginning, the main thing to think about is being aware of whats around you, stretch before, stretch afterwards and being aware of your surroundings. And coming up next we will talk more about running technique.