Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Starting Slow

Hi There, this is Debi! ...and I'm just going to put it out there...I'm injured. I have tried to hide from that statement, because it means I have to change my training plan, decide if I will complete my next race, and the worst of it, I had to stop running (sniffle) for a while.

It isn't until the moment when I can't run that I realize how much I have come to love it. Running is tough and kicks my tail on a daily basis, but seeing the gains in speed and mileage after time is rewarding. Not to mention how much fun I have racing with my friends.

So how does a beginning runner stay injury free?

Start Slow

In too many instances when a person starts running, they get hurt, and then fail to ever pick it back up again. We want to help prevent that from happening. No matter if you are "in-shape" or not, running requires the use of different muscles than other forms of exercise. Many new runners experience shin splints, pulled calf muscles, cramping quads, or sore hips from going out too fast or from doing too much too soon. Take it slow and ease into your new activity.

As a beginner runner, the number of miles you cover is not important, instead focus on the number of minutes. As you get stronger, the amount of time you are able to run will increase. 

The same goes for any change in your exercise plan. No one should expect themselves to be able to jump into a cross training class or similar venue thinking they can lift 50lbs or do 100 push-ups the first day or after a long break. You need to ease into it, steadily increasing over time. I learned this one the hard way, and now I've been sidelined due to a strained muscle for the past 6 weeks.

If you do get injured, try your best to continue with a fitness routine. If you are able to, try a SPIN class instead of running, or yoga. Once a fitness routine is broken, it's hard to get that groove back unless you make it a priority to do so. Depending on the nature of the injury, try to focus on other areas to work on like resistance training and weights.

Are you injured? What do you do to maintain fitness?

For me, I'm spinning my evenings and weekends away hoping to still make that next race; knowing that if my body isn't ready, instead, I will be cheering on my gal pals as they cross the finish line.


  1. Debi I had no idea! I hate that and I know you hate it even more. I have been there too and was the same way. I did not talk about it much on the social interwebs because I thought it would somehow mean I was done forever. BUT that is not the case! You will be back at it in no time! Take care girl!

    1. Meredith, you are so sweet!!!! Thank you! I'm almost back out there, did a long run for the 1st time since December this past weekend, so I am hopeful that this is almost over. I know you understand how it feels. Thank you for all of your support!! Hope to be seeing your cute self at a race soon, especially our favorite one in April :)