Megan Davey in Jamaica, mon!
“You don’t run to get in shape, you get in shape to run”
I’ve been meaning to write on this topic for some time now, and I’ll try my best to keep my thoughts cogent and concise. Running is probably the most popular recreational fitness activity around. You can do it anywhere, both indoors and outdoors, pretty much any season of the year. Whether you are competitive or just do it for ‘fun’, or as a way to stay in shape, the majority of people that walk through my doors at the gym mention running as something they currently do, or aspire to do in the future.
Here are the facts:
1) Running is a high impact activity. The impact forces of every footfall you take is around 4-6x your bodyweight being transmitted up your skeletal system. For the average person, that’s 1000 footfalls per mile, multiplied by 4-6x your bodyweight in total stress on your joints.
2) Most people suck at running. Don’t be offended, but it’s true. While almost everyone is capable of running, very few people you see are actually proficient and skilled at running. Compound this with the modern running shoe which causes you to hit your heel first instead of the ball of your foot, and you have a recipe for ankle, knee, hip, and back problems down the line.
2a) Running has a remarkably high incidence rate of injury. It is not a question of if, but a question of when. Read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall for more on this subject. Running demands both lower body and core strength, as well as good joint mobility and flexibility to be performed properly. If you are overweight or out of shape, recognize that running is probably not a smart option to regain your fitness, at least not at the onset.
3) What should you do? Jump rope, ride a bike, go walking or hiking outdoors, swim, lift weights, row, try some bodyweight training, push or pull a sled, play a sport. There are a multitude of options that are much safer, yes SAFER, than running that can prepare you to eventually run effectively.
4) Re-read my blog post on Running shoes. Try Running barefoot on grass, turf, or sand at low speeds and short distances. This will help you retrain a proper running stride. Another technique involves breathing drills. Run only as fast as you can while breathing through your nose and out your mouth. This is what we call self limiting exercise, and is a great way to smartly increase running volume.
5) This is not a personal attack on running, rather a manifesto about learning when to appropriately incorporate running, how to do it better and smarter, and how to stay healthy in the process.
Rich Froning Training Days (WOW)
Your body’s internal clock is at war with society
EZ Strength 2.0
AMRAP 10 minutes:
6 Dumbbell Push Press
9 Toes to Bar