With the warmer weather here, people are finally able to enjoy the outdoors. Most people's go-to outdoor exercise is running, but it's not always the best choice.
In this episode of The Fitness Show, we're offering our 2 favorite pieces of advice for runners as they make their way back outside. After that, we've got a great strength exercise to help the runners out there, the back lunge!
Check out the episode and notes below!
Segment 1: RD's Running Advice
Why We Don't Trust Running
1) The repeated stress of each step puts a toll on the body.
2) Our modern lifestyle filled with sitting, stress, lack of sleep and dehydration makes running more stressful than it did when we were younger.
3) Deceleration is a skill we lack. Since we rarely move fast and are asked to quickly stop, our ligaments and tendons are not equipped to hand the stress of slowing down after a long run.
4) People treat it like a personal record when they run. "I'm going to run further/harder/faster than I did before." When our bodies have taken the winter off of exercise, running is a poor choice to get back into shape.
5) Form takes a backseat to the runner's high. Most people start out looking good, but as they lose energy, they lose good posture and alignment.
1) Download a "Couch to 5k" Program
- These programs have rest built in.
- They help people run further, gradually, reducing the risk of injury from lack of adaptation.
- They're good for the advanced runner and beginner because intensity is up to you.
- They follow strength training principles. Some runs are longer, with longer rest periods, while others are higher intensity but shorter in duration (a.k.a. they manipulate variables). This allows the person to adapt to the stress of running appropriately instead of just running a bunch of miles because, "That's what you've always done."
2) Hill Sprints
- Deceleration is a higher risk part of the exercise. Running up the hill decreases forward momentum, decreasing stress on your body and increasing safety.
- Hill sprints are tough and effective. You'll get smoked from hill sprints way before you come close to injury.
3) Enjoy Lots of Outdoor Activities
- The real danger of running comes from the repeated impact of the exercise. So... don't just run.
- Enjoy walking, running, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, biking and swimming.
- At RD, we talk about adopting a variety of positions and patterns during your workouts. Physical activities should be thought of the same way.
Segment 2: The Back Lunge
If deceleration is a "dangerous" part of running, the front lunge follows the same pattern. That's why we promote the back lunge. Deceleration is taken out of the equation, so people are able to work on creating single leg strength more safely.
Here are the coaching cues:
1) Start with your feet under you about hip width apart.
2) Step straight back. Imagine finding your big toe for support.
3) Descend to the depth that's comfortable for you.
4) Push through both legs back to standing.
5) Reset. Practice that same side a few times, then progress to alternating left leg back, right leg back.