Follow Better Health Pro

The New Runner

Last week I wrote about what fundamental movement patterns are and why they are so important to master. I want to continue with this theme and go over how lack of activity and over specialization will develop movement patterns that will increase risk of injury and worst of all prevent a person doing what he or she loves. This is a topic that I find absolutely fascinating and fun so excuse me if I get a little dorky in this series.

I want to start with inactivity and how it can develop movement patterns that become counter intuitive to the individual that is looking to become more active in life. All movement or non-movement is perceived as a learning opportunity for your brain. When we do something for a long period of time over and over again the brain will develop ways to program this movement in its’ library of movements patterns. This allows the brain to perform these activities with very little effort neurologically and very quickly while also becoming the prefered method of performing the task. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Say a person sits all day long researching and filling in data in an excel spreadsheet looking for trends in the data being graphed out. Hours go bye hunched over the computer and a desk working away five or six days a week. Then, after a long day of analysing data and writing reports the individual goes to the gym - does a quick warm up (lunging and stretching for 12 minutes) and proceeds to lift weights above the head and jog on the treadmill. The individual after a few days or maybe weeks states that the shins and lower back is starting to hurt at night and when he or she is on the treadmill. The new runner becomes discouraged and can’t figure out why being more active is causing increased pain and discomfort. The answer is an easy one but the solution is not as easy nor as fun as running. The individual has programed him or herself not to be a runner. The individual needs to reprogram him or herself to be a runner and not a desk jockey. They need to re-learn all the movements that make it possible to run safely and effectively. They need to bring the training back to the basics of building a stable core, effective stride technique, and conditioning to maintain good form after prolonged periods of running.

Here are some great exercises to help developing a strong foundation for running:

  • Foam rolling of the thighs, hamstrings, calfs, lower back, and lats

  • Bridges 5 x 10 - 15 reps

  • Supermans 5 x 15 reps

  • Donkey Kicks: both legs 5 x 10 - 12

  • Dead Bug: 5 x 10 - 12

  • Planks: 5 x 30 - 45’

  • Skipping: 50’ x 5

  • High knees: 30’ x 5

  • Lunging: 3 x 10 each leg

Follow this by an easy 15 - 20 minutes of jogging while focusing on form and when you notice that your form starts to suffer slow down to a walk to get your breath back and attempt to finish the running with good form. After a while the  ability to maintain a good form and enjoy running for longer bouts will increase. Runs safe, run smart, run happy!

Next week I will focus on how over specialization can develop movement patterns that are not beneficial and can increase the risk of injury as well as the importance of cross training.  


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Main | Push ups and Stability »