Newbie or seasoned runner, this post is dedicated for you. Whilst running is a great way to exercise, and enjoy the open space it can also lead to injury if you don’t look after your body correctly. Over the years working with runners, and from my own experiences I’ve come to learn what people tend to neglect and what can make the difference from getting your park run personal best or struggling to tie up your laces! If you’re really serious about your running and looking after your body, then action what I’ve shared with you and you’ll run better for it.
Strengthen for running
Running is high impact, so it’s important you’re looking after your body by strengthening the relevant muscle groups. In particular paying attention to your posterior chain (muscles on the back of you) which play a large part in the action of running. I share a lot of strength videos on my Instagram, but specifically take a look here and here.
Make the foam roller your friend
Your muscles, tendons and ligaments are going to be put under strain when you’re moving, and in even more so when you’re running. We want to make sure you’re staying injury and niggle free, the simple way to look after these areas is the use of a foam roller. They’re very easy to get your hands on, and by spending just ten minutes each day you’ll improve your movement and be less likely to sustain and injury. If you’re stuck with what to do, take a look my tutorial here.
Wake up the correct muscles
Running does use your whole body, try doing some sprints and you’ll feel the results in your stomach next day! However, it primarily engages the posterior chain, which as we spoke about above is the muscles behind you. The main driver of these muscles is your glutes (butt muscles), which in turn is made of your glute max, medius (very important muscle that keeps your pelvis stable when on a single leg AKA when you’re running) and minimus. If you’re spending a lot of time sitting down, it’s likely this area isn’t really doing a great deal so it’s your job to wake it up. This is a simple circuit you can do with no equipment at home.
Improve your movement
How well can you move? Does a squat feel easy or do your hips feel tight and stuffy? By working on the above this will help these exercises feel a little more comfortable, but it’s important we’re looking to increase the range of movement during these types of exercises. There’s a whole list of exercises I could give you that’ll help, but to keep it simple take a look at this video and give it a whirl. Keep going with it, and see how much your movement and running improves!
Make a ten minute commitment
It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you have ten minutes every day. And that’s all I ask from you, to dedicate the time to your body and give it what it needs. Rolling and mobility should be a given. Wouldn’t it be nice to go for a run without a sore knee, or a nagging calf? You have the chance to make that happen, so put down your phone and dedicate that time today.