Hey! – Rob here 👋🏼
Your Daily Health Fix today is about …
Running for beginners
If you think about it logically, a human animal that can’t run, is likely a human animal that won’t survive.
In today’s environment we don’t need to be agile to catch our next meal, and we’re rarely threatened in a way that requires a sprint to safety. Needless to say, it’s still true that even if you don’t need to run, or don’t enjoy running for fun, optimising for being better at running will still pay off with your overall health and longevity.
Despite running being one of our primary and primal movements, many of us have lost the ability to run well, and often experience pains and injuries when trying to get into a running habit – or we just avoid running altogether to avoid the inevitable discomfort.
Here’s 3 top tips that will help you, the beginner (or you, the perpetually injured) get into running in a pain free and sustainable way.
Yes, sounds crazy right?
Don’t even think about including regular (forward) running in your routine until you can comfortably run backwards for 5-10 minutes.
Why? – Well, as well as improving your landing mechanics, and allowing time for bone density adaptation in your lower legs, you’ll also strengthen the various muscles around the knees and back of your legs without putting any forwards shearing force on your patella tendon or the minisci (cartilage).
And this is before mentioning that running backwards is hard! At the same time as protecting your legs, you’ll develop significant gains in your cardio-aerobic capacity.
When you do eventually start running forwards you’ll be primed for a pain free start with good foundations for gentle landings and solid physical resilience.
Do it when you start going backwards and continue when you transition to normal forwards running.
Find a grassy field, or take off your shoes on the treadmill. We have become so isolated to sensations from the use of bad shoes that the muscles in our feet and ankles have become weak. As soon as you start spending more (active) time barefoot, your feet will start to repair themselves.
When barefoot, it’s almost impossible to over-stride, to land with disproportional impact, or to push off without engaging the right muscles in your legs. Rather than spending hours analysing running technique, or trying to compensate with gimmicks like the newest shoes or insoles, just set yourself free of those kicks and let nature do what it does best.
Added bonus – you’ll be getting in your grounding time too for all the physiological and psychological benefits it brings.
Go on one leg
Spend as much time doing single leg exercises as you can – and especially in reverse.
From building strength in your hips and lower back, to improving balance and control over your ankles and arch, movements such as as standing on one leg, the single leg deadlift or hip-hinge, or simply slowly stepping down off a high box in reverse, will build and maintain the foundations you need to tackle the forces put on your legs as you increase your running volume and speed. Don’t forget the value in using the stairs too.
. . . That’s it for this dose,
Until the next time – Stay Motivated!💪🏼
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