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Athletic Training

Can You Recommend a Safe Running Regimen?

04/02/2010

Question:

I want to start running, but I am not an active person. My fear is that if I start running that I might put myself at risk of injury. Could you recommend a safe regimen to get me started on my goal? What precautions should I take when running or any other helpful information? Thank you.

Answer:

Thank you for using NetWellness. To help reduce your risk of injury, the most important thing is a proper warm-up and an appropriate stretching regime. Some muscle groups to consider when stretching include the hamstrings (back of legs), quadriceps (thigh muscles), your calves, and lower back. It is important to hold each stretch for at least 10-12 seconds to get the maximal effect. Stretch before and after your run/workout!

It is also very important to workout and run with a straight and proper posture. This will allow your muscles to be maximally challenged without the risk of muscle imbalance and injury down the road. Roll your shoulders back, relax your shoulders, and maintain a straight spine.

With the nice weather coming up, also be conscious of how your body works in the heat. It is very important to acclimatize yourself to the warmth and humidity, especially when first starting to workout again. Therefore, it is better to run in the mornings or early evenings while you are getting back into the running regime.
Once you feel that your cardio is better, feel free to slowly adapt to running in the afternoons when it is warmer.

Just pay attention to your body and do not push yourself too hard in the beginning or in the heat.

Happy running!

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Response by:

Courtney D Siegel, MEd, ATC Courtney D Siegel, MEd, ATC
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Instructor of Athletic Training
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University