Three Tips for Beginner Runners to Keep Your Running Injury-Free in 2021.

With social distancing remaining an important aspect of keeping ourselves and our communities safe during this start of 2021, exercise and time outside remain one of the key pieces of survival of this pandemic period.

There may be no better time to take up running, undoubtedly one of the best social distancing sports there is!

To help keep your goals on track, read on for three tips to keep your running injury-free the year ahead.

1. Have a plan or (even better) get a coach.

With the variety of free and small-fee training plans available online from reputable sources, this is probably one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success when starting out.

Having an established training plan that maps out appropriate progression of distance, accounts for rest and cross-training days, and builds in both long runs and intervals will not only make training more interesting but will help to vary the forces you exert on your body so that you can adapt as your running progresses.

There are many great resources available for training plans, even more with 2021 elevating the online fitness scene to a whole new level!

Here’s a few resources to I recommend checking out:

The Running Clinic: a Canadian Physiotherapist-developed site with beginner training programs I often recommend. Their beginner program is a walk-run program that takes you through 8-weeks to 30 minutes.
If you are completely new to running, as a Physiotherapist I strongly feel this is one of the best plans to begin running.
KM Run Club is a local Vancouver coach and club that was started by competitive runner and yoga teacher Katherine Moore
Runner’s World: This long-standing magazine has a lot of great resources and training plans for beginners, some free and some paid.
Here is a list of other clubs in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and Sea to Sky areas.

2. Don’t wait longer than two weeks to get pain assessed if it isn’t going away.

The body is wise. When we start to stress our tissues too quickly, it will begin to send signals of pain that are important not to ignore if we don’t want our activities disrupted.

Injuries are always easier to treat when addressed early, so seeking help from a Physiotherapist as soon as possible for pain that you are having will help decrease the chance of it developing into something more serious.

My recommended rule is: if it’s been 2 weeks and your pain is not resolving, see a Physiotherapist.

3. Consider getting your running technique assessed.

It used to be that everyone just went out and started running and never looked back. However, due to research things have changed: we now know that adjusting how you run can make a significant difference in your risk of injury and your running efficiency.

We are seeing more and more runners coming into the clinic looking for a preventative approach and wanting to be educated in how to run better to make sure they don’t get sidelined early in their running goals.
Personally, I think the most ideal time to get your running assessed is when you are just starting out. One of the reasons for this is that you have fewer bad habits to “train out” of you and it is easier to start building a biomechanically efficient technique that will help lessen your risk of injury as you progress.

Our team at Alaia Physiotherapy offers running assessments at the clinic on our treadmill including video assessment, identification of areas of weakness that have the potential to progress to injury, and a plan for what to start working on to become a better runner today.

Interested? You can book a 60-minute Running Assessment by calling us at 604-812-4286.

Wishing you all the best with your running goals for 2021!