How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution to Start Running: NYC Sports Doctors Offer Tricks
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, January 1st, 2018
If you’ve ever been to a gym in January, you know it’s insane! Come March, though, many of those newcomers are already gone and you can easily stake out a spot on the treadmill again. A study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute reported that approximately in 2017, 42% of the American population made New Year’s resolutions. Fitness-related activity was, by far, the most common resolution, made by almost a quarter of the resolution makers. The bad news? Half of the crowd will fail in their fitness missions. But it’s still worth trying! If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to start running, follow these NYC spots doctor tips to make sure you start strong and stick to your goals.
1. Start Low Mileage
When you’re just getting started or hitting the road following injury, set your focus on achieving a reasonable duration rather than distance. This shift in thought lets you track progress consistently without worrying so much about speed. You may reach a point where you want or need to be more competitive, but in the beginning, it’s helpful to say you’ll run 20 minutes versus 5 miles or 5-minute miles.
Keep in mind it can take a good two months for your body to adjust to a new high-impact running routine. Plan a few 30-minute interval run/walks into your schedule each week to slowly increase your endurance. Run for three minutes, then walk for two. Each week, increase your run time by 1-2 minutes and cut your walk time to one minute as soon as you can.
2. Aim for a Quick Cadence
We see fewer injuries in runners who follow a quick pace of 170-180 steps per minute. Simply put, the more your foot touches the ground, the less stress you put on your hips and knees. Strive for your right foot to hit the ground about 30 times in 20 seconds. Or, if it’s easier, download an app like Spring to create a playlist of songs set to your desired rhythm.
3. Adjust Your Speed to the Running Surface
If you’re transitioning from running on a treadmill to the great outdoors, it may be helpful to know that people tend to move about 27% faster on the pavement. This knowledge can also help you with treadmill training. Push yourself to go a little faster on the treadmill (say, 7 mph instead of a 6.5 mph pacing), knowing that you’re probably running a tad too slow.
4. Take Care of Your Upper Body
Many people waste a lot of energy by failing to consider their upper body motion. You don’t want to twist or do a lot of vigorous arm swinging while running. Instead, keep your chest straight and out with your shoulders and back relaxed. Keep your arms slightly bent and compact, with a short, relaxed, close-to-body swing. Mid-run, raise your arms up quickly and lower them to a 45-degree angle to pull your chest and hips into alignment and stretch your arms out a little.
5. Challenge Yourself
Routine is safe, but it’s also boring. Every once in a while, go outside your comfort zone with a route in the rain, the heat, or uphill. There is a profound psychological satisfaction one derives from saying, “I persisted through adversity!”
That being said, injury recovery is not the time for mental toughness, of course, so always listen carefully to your body. Remember that some days, you just won’t always be feeling good about your runs. Stress, diet, hydration, sleep, and muscle fatigue can affect any given jog, so don’t fret over an “off” day. If you can’t find an inspiring running buddy, get in the habit of being your own “coach.” Let your personal dialogue be that of a go-getter who won’t accept quitting for an answer. And if you really want to inspire yourself to achieve your personal best, consider tackling one of the many wonderful marathons NYC offers every year.
Experiencing Pain on Your Runs?
While running has wonderful fitness benefits and can add years to your life, there is always the possibility of injury. NYC sports doctors at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have one basic rule for runners to follow: if pain is altering the way you move, get it checked out. Aches and pains that persist more than a few days will lead to troublesome swelling in joints and soft tissues that can lead to greater injury. We can make sure it’s nothing serious, guide you in preventing serious injury while you train, check for any gait abnormalities, and help you with a personalized plan to get back on track with your runs. Contact us today to book an appointment, and happy New Year!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.