Written By: Neil C. Greb, MS, CSCS
While running is a terrific way to improve cardiovascular fitness, build stamina and endurance, and aid in weight loss goals, always make sure to consult a physician first. Once medically cleared, proper stretching before and after a run is crucial to help prevent injury. Finally, progress runs slowly. Run at an appropriate pace that can be maintained for the duration of the chosen mileage. The number of runs and mileage should also start minimally and progress in small increments every week or two.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Proper footwear is essential for injury prevention. While not so important when workouts are sporadic and mileage is low, as mileage ramps up it is important to wear high quality running shoes. Going to the local sporting goods or department store is probably the way most individuals shop for shoes, but may not be the best way. Online retailers offer hundreds of quality shoe options and often at significant discounts. If sizing is consistent, buy online with confidence.
Use, and Don’t Use, Technology
Technology can both enhance and diminish the running experience. Mapping out runs on websites that calculate distance can be a useful strategy to know a workout distance. Also, GPS watches are a great way to measure distance in real time, as well as track progress. While some watches with all the bells and whistles can be quite expensive, some entry level models can be purchased for about $100. Finally, ditch the audio devices! They can be useful to help get through a workout, but sometimes it’s more important (not to mention safer) to “unplug” and listen to the sounds of the environment whether urban or rural.