3 Things You Should Know When You Run Regularly
A few years ago when I was a fresh faced Athletic Therapy student, I started to experience pain in the side of my knee after about 3-4 km in on my run. I wanted to find out what was going on, so I started asking an upper classman at school some questions. In response, she asked me the following questions:
1. What kind of surface are you running on?
2. How long have you had your running shoes?
3. What kind of warm-up and cool down are you doing?
These questions really opened my eyes. I was running along the side of the road on hilly surfaces and so my left leg was constantly on an incline going both ways. I couldn’t actually remember when I bought my current running shoes and I wasn’t doing any warm-up or cool-down. I went and got myself a new pair of runners and starting running along the same side of the road both ways. I also started doing a dynamic warm-up…
What is a Dynamic Warm-up?
Dynamic Stretching is a form of stretching that utilizes the active movement of muscle to bring forth a stretch. This type of stretching is not held in the end position. This helps to increase range of motion, blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and tissues to prepare them for physical exertion.
Studies have shown that dynamic stretching is more beneficial than static stretching. Static stretching involves holding the stretch in a static position for 15-30 seconds. Dynamic stretching is the most beneficial before exercise whereas static stretching is more beneficial after a workout.
When you are preparing your warm up, it is important to remember to keep it in proportion to the distance you will be running. Some of the best Dynamic Stretches are:
Once you've completed your distance, you should slow your pace down to a slow jog or walk as this helps to flush lactic acid out of the muscles. Lactic Acid is what leads to that “cement” feeling in your legs that comes over the next day or two. We call it DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
This is where static stretching comes into play, you want to hold each one of your stretches for nice long holds approximately 30 sec x 3 sets and you want to focus on stretching the muscles in the lower body such as the hamstrings, quads and hip flexors, calves and glutes.
If you have a foam roller, this is when you should use it. Foam rolling can help remove adhesions in the muscles, increase blood flow and establish normal function in the muscle.