Requiring little equipment and adaptable to many different environments, running is a fantastic option for people looking to embrace a new fitness routine. As accessible as this activity is, newcomers often encounter obstacles that can increase the risk of injury and impair overall capabilities. If you’re a beginner, here are a few performance optimization tips to keep in mind.
5 Performance Optimization Tips for New Runners
1. Select the Right Shoes
For the best experience, find running shoes made of flexible, weather-resistant materials. Choose footwear that’s snug, but isn’t so tight that it rubs against your skin while you run. Quality running shoes will also provide substantial support to keep your arches intact.
2. Never Skip Stretches
Whether you’re a new or veteran runner, you should always stretch before and after any physical activity. If muscles aren’t stretched, they can’t reach their full potential for flexibility, which is a problem that can impair the strides you take. Additionally, taking time to stretch all your muscle groups, especially those within the legs, can greatly reduce your risk of developing fatigue or injury.
3. Practice Proper Posture
If you hunch your back or aren’t able to maintain a stable balance while running, your airways will compress and restrict your breathing. To make sure you can inhale and exhale with ease, always strive to run upright with a posture that supports the natural curve of the spine. You should also keep your neck and head straight while holding your elbows at 90-degree angles.
4. Increase Speed & Distance Gradually
Rushing into this activity without the proper body conditioning can lead to severe injury and improper performance optimization. You should aim to start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase your speed and distance as you continue training. If you feel like the run is pushing you too hard, there’s no harm in slowing down to a job or brisk walk.
5. Give Your Body a Break
Take a day off between runs to maximize the benefits and prevent repetitive strain injuries. Taking this break will give your muscles and joints time to rest, repair, and strengthen. If you want to workout on your rest days, try low-impact strength training for the upper body and arms.
Whether you’re training for a marathon or wanting to get in shape, the professionals at IMUA Orthopedics, Sports & Health can help improve your performance optimization as a runner. Located in Honolulu, HI, this fully-equipped sports medicine clinic uses advanced tools and techniques to heal injuries, strengthen muscles, and enhance flexibility. Call (808) 521-8170 to schedule an appointment or visit them online to learn how these expert orthopedists can help you.