Running Mechanics Part 1

PART 1: THE BEST PREPARATION FOR RUNNING

Planning

The key to any successful running plan is to not do too much too soon by starting slowly. It is important to listen to your body to prevent injury and optimize performance. A progressive plan will be individualized to your current fitness level, fitness goals and daily schedule.

Another key aspect to planning your run is mental preparation to overcome mental blocks. Goal setting is a great way to increase motivation by internalizing your success as you reach each milestone. Start by setting realistic, short term goals that will build on your success over time. Getting into a positive mind set can also be helpful for mental preparation before you set out on your run as well as during the run. Take time to address the positive feelings that you normally experience after a run. Reminding yourself during your run that you are capable and have achieved success in the past is helpful to push you through negative thoughts of stopping short.

Incorporating some of these tips can help you run longer and faster to achieve your running aspirations. Below is a link to runner’s world which details a twelve-step running/walking progressive plan to slowly introduce more running and less walking over a twelve week period. As the link explains, you should work at your own pace and if you need to repeat a step numerous times, listen to your body and repeat it as long as needed.

https://www.runnersworld.com/beginner/a31707889/best-beginner-running-plan/

Pre Run Warm Up

A proper warm up of 5-10 minutes is essential for a successful run and injury prevention. A full body dynamic warm up composed of stretching should be performed before you set out on each run. Dynamic stretching is a great way prepare your muscles, increase your heart rate and optimize range of motion and strength while elevating your core temperature. This ensures optimal oxygen and blood flow to your muscles during the run. For examples of Dynamic warm-ups, refer to the photos below:

Hydration

Why is hydration so important when running? Hydrating before, during and after workouts allows for our body to naturally bring energy to our cells, to limit cramping and cushion our joints. Thus, during moderate to vigorous intensity exercise we need to be drinking more to prevent injury and optimize recovery time.

Pre-run you should drink at least 16 oz or 500 ml two hours before your run, during your run you should be drinking 200 ml every 15-20 minutes of exercise, then immediately following your run, you should have another 16 oz/500 ml of water with food and a protein source, whether this is a meal, a protein bar or a protein shake.

Post Run Cool Down

A proper cool down of 5-10 minutes is just as important as a warm-up routine to slowly ease intensity to allow heart and breathing rates to return to normal. This will include walking for a few minutes post run followed by static stretching. A proper cool down will help optimize exercise performance, prevent injury and decrease pain and inflammation from delayed onset muscle soreness.

After a run, you should begin your active cool down phase with a 2-3 minute period of walking to help bring heart rate and breathing rate back to normal. Once you feel sufficiently cooled down from the walking period, you can move into the next step of the post run routine which includes static stretching.

Static stretching helps your muscle recover faster after exercise and reduce the pain and inflammation associated with delayed onset muscle soreness. Stretching also increases flexibility and range of motion which further help your running efficiency. Furthermore, stretching is a great way to release tension from your muscles following any exercise.

Below me are a few options for static stretches to incorporate after a run:

Trail VS. Treadmill VS Road Running Preparation

Treadmill running: for individuals who want to be able to control their incline and speed very quickly and effortlessly. It is also potentially easier on joints. You are able to control your strides and repeat the same motion over and over for an allotted period of time without worrying about running too far away, and a change in terrain. You can also keep track of your heart rate throughout your workout. Potential negatives of treadmill running is that you may perceive the run as harder or more boring due to being inside. You may also potentially lose some agility that you would naturally gain running outside in harsher terrain and avoiding obstacles such as potholes, wildlife etc.

Road running: is ideal for individuals who are training for distance and enjoy exercising outside to breathe fresh air during their workout, this aids in boosting your mental health! Road running can be different from the treadmill because you have to worry about traffic on the road, other distractions such as wildlife, and inclement weather. Individuals who road run are able to have measured strides and can run effectively without having to calculate the distance of their strides due to terrain. Road running on uneven and uphill terrain also strengthens bone and leg muscles. Some uncertainties of outdoor road running is that inclement weather makes it more difficult to schedule runs and you need to pay extra attention to potential hazards.

Trail running: is potentially more challenging due to the uncertainty of the terrain, strides will have to be monitored more closely due to uprooted terrain, rocks and other loose sediments as well as wildlife and weather conditions. Trail running can be peaceful but individuals need to be prepared for the terrain by stretching prior and actively thinking/preventing rolled ankles or other injuries caused by falling.

Office Ergonomics

Do you have a desk job? Do you think you have bad posture?

Good news- perhaps there is no ideal position for sitting or standing. There is a strong belief amongst rehabilitation professionals that not spending too much time in any static/stationary posture might be a key to avoiding “bad posture”.

Healthy postures and a proper workplace set up can certainly help an employee’s productivity at work and reduce the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries down the road. Regular breaks sure can go a long way in helping your work efficiency, so start putting those smart devices to use and set reminders to move from your static postures every 20-30 minutes!

Proper Posture:

The best way to maintain better posture when you must be sitting at home or at your work desk is to find a chair that supports your individual spine.

Everyone has an idea of what “good posture” should look like, however research is inconclusive as to which posture is actually the best. So, why don’t we think more about moving between positions/postures because we know for sure that movement helps pain. Letting yourself sit in the same position for hours and hours (or simply being sedentary) has been shown to have a negative effect on our overall health.  

Ergonomic Assessment:

If you are unsure of where to start, ergonomic assessments can provide ways to make your body function more efficiently, for longer. They can assess from proper work chairs (height, lumbar support, arm rests etc.), proper screen height and distance suited for your body to the proper length away for your keyboard or mouse. All of these seem like simple things, but probably aren’t thought of often when setting up your station.

Here are some simple rules:

–Have your computer screen at an appropriate eye level

–Feet firmly placed on the floor

–90-degree angle for knees, hips, elbows

–Wrist in a neutral (“middle”) position

Eye Breaks:

Staring at your computer screen for too long throughout the work day can put a big strain on your eyes. Try the 20-20-20 method above recommended by the Ontario Associations of Optometrists. Your eyes need a break from reading and stimulation from the screen, so these little breaks will go a long way for your work performance!  

Stability Ball Chairs:

Stability ball chairs can also help with posture within the work place but maybe not for the reasons you might think. They help build stabilizer muscles which in turn can help prevent/reduce back pain throughout the day. The ball isn’t necessary to use your whole work day but using it periodically for an hour or two throughout the day will benefit you!

Bottom Line:

Here at the Right Move, we’d like to encourage people to think more about their bodies and how much they move throughout the day. Rather than stigmatize you for not maintaining an upright posture for 8+ hours a day, we feel it’s more important to emphasize the amount you move during any given day. Modern day society is stressful and we all have deadlines that we must meet, however having a good solid plan to combat stresses placed on our bodies is extremely important.

–If you need any help please give our office a phone call today!–

Benefits of Strength Training

 

 

There are numerous benefits associated with strength training including increased muscular strength and endurance, stress relief, sleep improvement, and musculoskeletal pain management. As such, there are more than enough reasons to incorporate strength training into your daily routine and keeping these in mind can help keep individuals motivated to continue training. We all know how difficult it is to keep up with exercise and training but having a better understanding of the benefits will be a big motivational factor to continue!

 

Muscular Strength and Endurance

As we head into the winter months there is always the fear of falling on the icy surfaces which can lead to many different injuries. Following a regular strength training program will give you an overall stronger base of support that can help prevent you from taking a spill as your strengthened muscles keep you balanced. In fact, if you sustain an injury that needs physiotherapy, prescribed exercises during active-rehab can improve and even speed up your recovery time! Studies have also shown that strength training is more commonly being prescribed now as it helps build musculoskeletal strength (which also is preventative towards future injuries). Day-to-day tasks will also become easier with improved muscular strength. Strength training programs can emphasize stabilizer muscle function which leads to increased muscular endurance. The benefits of these types of programs will ensure that daily tasks aren’t such a chore; as your body can physically keep up and handle the work load.

 

Stress Relief

Any form of training can always help relieve daily stress. Work stress, friend or family relationships, finances, etc. are all different areas of stress that training can be an outlet for.  However, when training becomes painful that can be a stressor in itself. With prescribed strength training your Physiotherapist/Kinesiologist can inform you on what level of pain is appropriate and ways to prevent an extreme amount. They can show you progressions and modifications of certain exercises so your training program is best suited for your needs. Proper form and technique of each exercise can also be approved by the Physio so you can be sure you are doing them properly, safely and with a minimal amount of pain. A little reassurance from a professional can always put your mind at ease when it comes to training!

 

Sleep Improvement

There is always the hope that a good workout will help put you to sleep at night. A regular training program does help improve sleep, just be sure to give yourself time between your session and bed as your body needs time to slow back down before sleep.

A research study done through the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that both sleep time and quality of sleep improved after following a consistent training program for a 3-6 month period. When we could all use a little more sleep at night, why not consider strength training to help make it possible!

 

Here at The Right Move we offer strength training and active rehab as a part of a complete physiotherapy treatment plan. We also offer registered Kinesiology services to help supplement lifestyle changes for individuals living with chronic health conditions. Both can help with conditioning injured areas and getting your body stronger in an effort to help prevent future injuries. Call or email the clinic today to get started (613-384-3222) or admin@rightmovept.com