A Healthy Start: Building Momentum for Your Running Resolutions

January 05, 2024

Hello & Happy New Year folks! Elise Fleming back at it in the Physio Corner.

As a new year kicks off, we are sure to witness a surge of runners hitting the pavement with resolutions in tow. Whether you're a seasoned pro or taking your first strides, let's ensure you set off on the right foot with some tips to keep you injury-free and your motivation burning bright.

1. Start Slow, Finish Strong :

Resist the urge to channel your inner Usain Bolt right on day one. Building a robust foundation is key to a successful running journey. Begin with a mix of walking and jogging, gradually increasing your running time as your body adapts. A gradual approach allows your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system to ease into the training, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

2. Listen to your body :

Your body is remarkable. Tune in to what it is telling you. A little muscle soreness is normal, but persistent pain is not. If something feels off, don't bulldoze through it. Give yourself rest days, change up your running surfaces, and consider consulting with a physiotherapist if needed. Prevention is the name of the game.

3. Strengthen & Stretch :

Invest time in strengthening exercises and flexibility routines. A strong foundation and flexible muscles provide better support, minimising the impact on joints and lowering the risk of injuries like shin splints or runner's knee.

4. Set realistic goals :

While it's fantastic to have ambitious running goals, make sure they're realistic and achievable. Whether it's conquering your first 5K or setting sights on an ultra marathon, break down your larger goal into smaller, attainable milestones. This will help keep you motivated and provide a sense of accomplishment along the way.

5. Find your tribe :

Consider joining a running group or connecting with the vibrant online running community. The shared experiences, tips and camaraderie can turn your running routine into a joyous adventure.

6. Rest & Recover :

Repeat after me: Rest days are not a sign of weakness. They are a crucial part of any training plan. Use this time to reflect on your progress, set new goals, and rejuvenate your mind and body. Indulge in some light stretching, yoga, or other low-impact activities.

7. Keep It Fun :

Make your runs enjoyable. Create a killer playlist, explore new routes and maybe even treat yourself to some new running gear so you look forward to every run.

So here's to a healthy, injury-free New Year. Take it one step at a time, listen to your body, and enjoy the incredible journey that running has to offer. Happy running, and may 2024 be your best year yet!

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