Transitioning Into Running
March 26, 2020
Hey there! I am trying so hard to get into running, but I am scared to get hurt. I have been doing pilates for a few months, and while I am not in OPTIMAL shape, I want to get started running slowly as part of my "getting healthier" routine. I have recently tried though, and each time I run I get aching in the top/ball of my foot. I have had this before and it was said to be bone bruising, but I am not sure how to avoid this when I am only running a few minutes every 3 - 4 days as part of a walk/jog routine. Any ideas on how to avoid this? Is it HOW I am running or is this just something that is normal?
Response - Coach Janet
Transitioning into a running routine for most people takes some time and patience. I like to see people establish a solid foundation of walking before they start the transition process and I’ve had good success with those who regularly do brisk walking of about 10 miles a week. That’s not a terribly high hurdle to clear for most – so you may well be there already.
Then the transition begins and it’s FAR more gentle than you probably think it needs to be but again the focus is on making steady progress with no interruptions for injuries. With this in mind- there’s a need for some foundational work with gentle stretches as well as some core and hip strength work a couple of times a week. Running is not like any other form of fitness activity – so the loads imposed on your body need to be respected. Often the first transition is to insert 30 second run segments once every 4 minutes on your usual route. The next progression is to bring that up to 1 minute… and over time the run segments get longer and the walk segments get shorter and eventually voila! You’re running! The progressions in the transition aren’t linear – they’re done based on how YOU respond each step of the way. This type of personalized attention helps avoid the common setbacks experienced by those following generic programs.
I’d be happy to help you with this process. It’s nice to have someone evaluate your specific areas of tightness and weakness and prescribe the exercises YOU need rather than just handing you a generic set of exercises that may or may not address your particular needs. In addition it’s important to make your transition into running at the levels that are appropriate for your body. Running at totally easy and conversational effort is the goal.
Done correctly, most any healthy adult can transition into some level of running.
Want some help? Let me know!