Jump Into Spring Training the Safe Way
Jumping into Spring Training the Safe way
I have a feeling that not a single person in the Northern Hemisphere could debate that this was likely the worse winter on record. We learned of many new weather terms : frost quakes , polar vortex, ice storms……..And I would go out on a limb and say that even the heartiest of winter runners spent some time on a treadmill ( I have never spent more time on mine than I did this winter ! ), indoor cycling , joined a gym etc This indoor exodus was all in an attempt to maintain some fitness in an otherwise brutal training season.
With spring hopefully not too far into the distant future, (forget the actual calendar date!) I am going to provide some tips on hitting the roads safely come spring.
Spring is a great time to dust off the running cobwebs, sign up for a race or to test your winter fitness gains and start to train for later season events. For those that don’t like to race, spring is the time to increase your distances, or just get out there and enjoy the open clear roads in less clothing!
Here are a few tips:
- Start gradually. If you did hibernated from running over the winter as some do for whatever reason, start slowly! Not slowly as in pace necessarily, but start slowly in distance or running time. Use the 10% rule and only increase weekly mileage by this amount. Start with 15-20 mins of walk – run and build from there.
- Get a new pair of running shoes. Spring has sprung and so have the new models! It’s possible that you spent all winter in old shoes not wanting to get a new pair wet, dirty, or test outside if you changed models. Whatever the reason, new shoes always motivate one to get out the door! If you do a fall race, getting a new pair now will give you time to break in the next pair before your event. Consider getting a second pair that is lighter and a lower profile for speed and tempo work to switch up the muscle use and guide your efficiency.
- Strength train. Nothing keeps us healthier and injury free than a little strength work. Core, standing leg work and yoga are all great options. Short duration sessions at home or in the gym a couple of times a week does wonders.
- Have your gait analyzed. If you spent the winter injured or had nigglies ( is this a word?) left over from the fall, consider a gait analysis by a professional who knows running. Small changes to your form can really help in running longevity, injury prevention and injury healing.
- Join a running group. This too can be very motivating. Either form your own with like minded people who match your pace and time of day you like to run or join a local run shop for group runs and / or clinics.
- Dress appropriately. Wear technical fabrics that breathe well. Nothing makes a run more enjoyable than feeling like you are running without clothes on:). Apparel companies such as Mizuno make fantastic technical clothing. Breathable and comfortable. Not to mention flattering!
There you have it. Just a few tips to make spring your season to get outside and RUN!
Consider signing up for an event to keep you on track and motivated and if you are new to racing you get the elusive PR!
Stay safe on the roads and most of all have fun!
Elise is a long time competitive amateur triathlete and Physiotherapist with 20+ years experience treating runners and athletes of all kinds. She also has an online coaching business for runners and triathletes looking to reach that next distance goal or PB. She is very passionate about biomechanics in running and does gait analysis and shoe recommendations as part of her practice. Elise also has a self admitted running shoe and apparel fetish. She is mom to an active 10 year old girl and is married to a man who also runs and races.