So, you’ve spent the winter months curled up on the couch watching television. Now, you’re ready to get outside and start exercising.
Jeff Yamada, Memorial Vice President and Chief Information Officer, started running a few years ago and now is an avid marathoner. He’s here today to offer tips for getting started – a couch to 5K plan – and Joel Buffum of Memorial Sports Medicine Advantage has some reminders for avoiding injuries.
What are the benefits of a couch to 5K plan?
- Daily exercise – lose weight, gain energy
- Eating healthy whole foods – food as fuel
- Find a friend or group – meeting new friends, go to new places
- Have fun!
Jeff’s tips: Find your motivation. Pick a goal and sign up for a race. Keep it consistent and keep it fun.
How to avoid injury:
It’s best to follow FITT principles: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type.
- If you’re not familiar with running a 5k start by loading up endurance to activity with walking a 5k, and gradually introducing running to the load.
- The actual movement of running is more ballistic that walking so make sure to integrate strengthening/stretching techniques of the ankle, knee and hip to prevent compensations. Stretch before and after each run.
- Don’t push too hard; let yourself recover. If you are intentionally pushing yourself hard on Monday, be aware that it isn’t realistic to push yourself equally hard or harder on Tuesday. Mix up your intensities/times to prevent injury and stagnation.
Are their special shoes you to buy?
There are hundreds of different athletic shoes, with many different purposes, made by people with different perspectives on purpose. If you goal is to run, purchase a stable running shoe for your needs. “Cool” shoes aren’t always good running shoes. Consult an expert if you can’t find what you need.
- But take care of your feet! A hot spot is a blister waiting for you to look the other way. Blisters make running NOT FUN!
What’s the biggest mistake people make?
People need to know their limitations.
- A perfect running gait is as rare as a perfect swing/pitch/lift/etc. Train to the limits of your current abilities, with a structured training program, and use the proper tools that work for you. Pushing yourself as hard as possible while developing compensations may allow you to get an extra mile in today, but in the long term can lead to overuse injuries, and then you end up with me. (Joel)
Remember to hydrate! And remember, no matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.