Strengthen your Stabilizing muscles NOW!!!
Spring is right around the corner, which means warmer temps and the ability to start running outdoors. For those of you who have been primarily training indoors all winter long it is important that you focus on strengthening your stabilizing muscles before hitting the pavement and trails. Avid runners can appreciate the importance of foot and ankle stability especially when they transition from winter to spring running. The treadmill has many positive benefits but it also has its limitations, one being its inability to mimic altering terrain. If you are a runner who has been limited to mostly indoor running this winter I recommend you focus the next few weeks on foot and ankle strengthening exercises. By doing so you will reduce your chances of experiencing plantar fasciitis, shin splints and IT syndrome.
When you begin your outdoor spring running start off slowing and build your mileage gradually. This doesn’t mean you cut your weekly-prescribed mileage it means DON’T do your entire mileage outdoors right off the bat. Give your muscles time to adapt to the change in footing (traction and pounding off the pavement). I recommend starting with ¼ of your weekly mileage outside for the first 2 weeks staying primarily on groomed paths then building from there. By week 3 you should be at half your mileage outdoors and by week 5 running fully outside if weather permits. Groomed vs. non-groomed paths is based on how your body is adjusting to the elements. To ensure your running at your best I recommend you add a non-impacting “cross training” day between runs. This is a great time to add a strength and stability session to your weekly training regimen as well as a cycle and/or swim class.
For more tips and demonstrations click on the link below and watch Coach D in action!
Stay Healthy and Stay Motivated! See you next week!
Cheers, Coach D