It’s almost time to start running | Corewell Health

When the spring weather arrives, the urge to run, exercise, have fun or compete in serious competition arises.

But after a long winter indoors, it’s not wise to just lace up and start walking without a plan.

Running outside after a period of inactivity in cold weather requires preparation.

Customize your training

A training program should vary depending on the runner-beginner, intermediate or experienced.

“Each category will have a different training program depending on the conditioning of the athlete and the distance goals for the individual,” said Matthew Axtman, DO, Corewell Health Orthopedic Sports Medicine.

Most people who want to take part in a 5k race are likely to be novices, he said. They should plan a six-week program and start training as the weather warms up.

It’s important to start slow and consider an online search for 5K couch programs, he said.

“Make sure you’re smart about the program,” Dr. Axtman said. “It starts with having this mental image in your mind as to what your goal is. Do you do it for health, do you do it with friends or do you plan to participate in a certain race? »

Cross training is important. Your program should include not only running, but also walking, cycling, weight training, and even yoga and Pilates to target different muscle groups.

Usually, it’s wise for the novice to start out by mixing walking and running – run a half mile, walk a half mile.

Experienced runners don’t need to start that slow.

“Experienced runners can have a more intense regimen, but the novice needs to take it slower,” Dr. Axtman said. “You’re at higher risk of injury if you haven’t participated in this activity at all.”

Treat the pain

He said all runners should try to prevent injury by listening to their bodies.

“If you notice pain, back off after the workout,” Dr. Axtman said. “Use simple treatments first – ice, over-the-counter medications, etc. If backing up doesn’t stop the pain, you may need to have a test to find out where the pain is coming from.

“Do not delay in finding the cause of the pain. It could make things worse if you do. Fix it as fast as possible.

When researching a program, in addition to going online, individuals may want to see if the race they plan to participate in suggests a training protocol.

Workout tips

Dr. Axtman offers several simple tips for getting the most out of your workout.

Start with well-fitting shoes. Visit an athletic shoe store that can assess your running gait and help you identify the best shoes for you. Most stores have a return policy if you feel pain after purchase.

Also, drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can affect your fitness and your training.

Wear moisture-wicking clothes, he said. These are garments that lift perspiration in the fabric and dissipate it. For example, don’t wear cotton, which retains liquids. Wear appropriate clothing to avoid overheating.

“No matter the type of athlete, any exercise is good and will provide some benefit to your health,” Axtman said. “But be smart about it and make sure you choose your goals and train appropriately.”

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