Life on the Run

Why do you run? For some, it’s about setting goals or staying fit. Others love being part of the running community and the freedom running can provide. No matter the reason, the rewards are undeniable.   Developing muscle strength and aerobic capacity have benefits in the long term. Most runners live longer than non-runners. According to a 21-year study, runners have longer lifespans and are less likely to develop a disability. What’s more, the downsides aren’t as bad as previously thought. Many runners think they’ll pay for abusing their knees, but studies show runners are no more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee than non-runners. If you understand and maintain proper form, your risk diminishes even further.

At Saanichton Physiotherapy our physios are experts in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives and can help runners improve performance, prevent injury, and get back to running. And, if an injury does occur then a physiotherapist can treat it. Our physios are runners themselves and subscribe to a runner’s philosophy: It’s about hard work and constant improvement. Just because you have an injury does not mean your running days are over.

The Starting Line

Whether you’re returning to running or just beginning, it’s important to ease into a routine to allow your body to adapt. Gradually increase distance to establish a base of fitness. After you have developed a base of fitness you can gradually increase your speed and pace over time. Don’t set out to win your age group in your first race. This approach will likely lead you to an injury.

As you prepare for a race, listen to your body. Because your muscles are adjusting to the stresses of running, you may need to take a day or two off. It’s important to try to hit training program targets, but don’t stick so firmly to a program that you ignore warning signs and injure yourself. Increasing your weekly running distance by more than 10 percent from week to week can be unsafe.

Runners in their mid-30s and older should take age into consideration when returning to running or starting a regimen for the first time. Their bodies have changed and they must make adjustments to their training routines to accommodate these changes. Take time to adjust and build your base mileage before training for a race. Ambitious goals can sometimes make you ignore pain, which can lead to injury.