As a runner, I've been asked many questions by friends and family. The one that stands out the most is "Isn't running bad for your knees?"
There is really no definitive answer, but one thing I'm certain of is, running does not cause injury or knee pain. After asking a few questions of my own, the answer I've come up with (for this common misinterpretation of running) is that the people asking the question have never run properly.
I love it when someone gets the "bug" for running. It's exciting! To me, there is nothing else like the freedom of a good, sweaty run. That's my time to either run with a friend and chat about the latest happenings or to run solo and come up with solutions to problems, or to just imagine ... daydream. Absolutely love the feeling!
While you may not experience the same, running is a great way to shed unwanted inches and it's great for your heart and overall well being.
So, wanna run? This is SO important: Purchase the right running shoe for you.
One of the most common causes of injury for beginner runners is they head out the door in shoes that may not even be "running" shoes. A few years ago, a newbie runner myself, a friend pointed out that I might have better, more comfortable runs in a different shoe. "What? What's wrong with this shoe?" I say, almost hurt by the comment. (As a runner you will become very loyal to your running shoe....just wait, you'll see!) I so carefully chose that particular shoe because I saw someone wearing them and they looked good, felt good and after all, I found them at the local athletic store under the sign saying "Running."
What I know now is, just because you like a particular running shoe does not mean that it's the right running shoe for you. I tell my boot campers to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go to the nearest RUNNING store. I'm talking about a store that specializes in running. The sales people in there are runners themselves! They will evaluate the way you walk and run.
The shoe they choose for you will most likely not be the one they choose for your running buddy. They will evaluate what type of arch you have, where your foot strikes first, whether you over or under pronate or maybe you're not so high maintenance and simply need a neutral shoe.
There are so many things that determine what shoe is right for you. My advice? Don't waste time, energy and money on trying to figure all those things out for yourself. Most often, injury will be what lets you know your choice of shoe is wrong.
So having said that, if there are no pre existing issues with your knees or back (that's another biggie), then head to your local running store such as Fleet Feet, Runner's Fit, etc. Let them decide which shoe is perfect for you.
Now you're on the right path to run! Pun intended!
Remember, always wear reflective gear in dusk and dawn. Run with a partner in unfamiliar or secluded areas. Change your route every so often so not so nice people don't see a pattern to your route.
If you've never run or haven't in a long time, take the first week or two, maybe even the first month to ease into running.
Find a time of day and that works for your schedule. By choosing the same time for your daily run, you will set yourself up for success. Running becomes an appointment with yourself that you must keep!
The rule of thumb to prevent injury? Add to your distance by only 10 percent each week or longer. This gives your body plenty of time to adjust to the new demands you're putting on your body. If you struggle at a certain distance and/or pace, ease back until you find what's comfortable you.
If you know of someone that's a runner and has been for awhile, they will be a great source of information to you. Chances are, they will be more than willing to give advice and suggestions! I have yet to meet a true runner that didn't want to share the wonderful world of running with a newbie! It's fun and exciting to be a part of someone's brand new enthusiasm for running!
Now that you're ready to run, warm weather brings all sorts of local 5k, 10k run/walk events. In fact there's one coming up soon right here in Dacula. Check it out and spread the word to all your runner friends! Maybe I'll see you out there. I'll be in the black shirt with the white "boot" print on the back. Come say hi!
Oh, and don't forget to post your times! The first 5* people to post their time or the experience of the race day, will receive $25 off March, 3 week Mini Boot Camp at the Hamilton Mill location Starting on 14 March ending 1 April. Two times to choose from: 5 a.m. and 6 p.m.
*Must be a new camper to qualify for discount.
- Hebron Christian Academy's 2nd Annual FunDRun - 5K Run / Walk
Benefiting the Senior Class Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic
Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011
Time: 1 Mile Fun Run 10 a.m., 5k Run/Walk 10:30 Race day registration and packet pick-up 8-9:15 a.m.
Location: Hebron Christian Academy Upper School Campus
570 Dacula Road Dacula, Ga. 30019
Purpose: Raise Support for the Senior Class Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic
Course Description: Flat course; grass, pavement
Cost: $20 (pre-registration rate), $18 (student), $25 (onsite registration)
-Awards given to the top three M/F overall and top three in each age group
-Email questions to Greco@HebronLions.org
For more information visit www.hebronlions.org