Starting a Healthy Running Program

Starting a Healthy Running Program

Your gym is still closed. Your spin classes are not happening. The climbing gym is full. And there are only so many workouts you can do with a jumprope. Sound familiar? 

It is finally time to buck up and go for a run! Now what?

Sure, you could just throw on some random sneakers and go. Bang out a few miles. What could go wrong? Maybe nothing, but chances are that is not the outcome you will have if you dive in headfirst. 

The goal here is to give you a few tips on how to prepare your body to absorb the impact of running, and help you recover. Running is great for your mind, body, and soul. However, if you are not used to a high impact activity, a little prep goes a long way to keeping you in the game for the long term. 

All you need is a foam roller (or a one little Nalgene bottle) and a band (and old bike inner tube can work in a pinch)…

Ankle Mobility:
Calf Release - 2 min each leg
Shin Release - 2 min each leg
Kneeling Ankle Stretch - 30 sec x 3 each leg
Calf Stretch - (on ½ foam roller, rolled-up yoga mat, towel...anything) 30 sec x 3 each leg

Ankle Strength:
Calf Raise + Eccentric Calf Strength - 10-20x based on fatigue. These can + should be done off a step for the full range of motion. 

Hip Mobility :
Hip Openers - 3-5x each side

Pelvis + Glute stability:
Cross Body Core - 10-20x each side
Side Plank - can also be done on knees - 30 sec x 3 each side
Single-Leg Bridge 10-20x
Monster Walk - 3-5 min
Lunge with Overhead Reach and Calf Stretch + Activation 3x each side
Banded Jumps - 15x

Now that you have your body stabilized, it is time to figure out exactly how much you should run. Great (+ necessary) question. Whether you’re new to the sport, cross training with something new, or recovering from an injury, there is a pretty good formula to follow: 30 sec on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10.

Sure, that’s not a very long amount of time, but maybe you tack it to the beginning or end of another workout. Exposing your body to light weight-bearing activities, like walking or hiking, is a great buffer for running.

Take your time with these progressions and make the time to do your recovery mobility + strength.

  • 1 min on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10
  • 2 min on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10
  • 3 min on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10
  • 4 min on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10
  • 5 min on, 1 min off x 5 and work up to x 10

…. Continue the pattern until you are up to 10 min x 5
…. And then you are free to fly, er, run!
Start with a few miles and see how it goes.

Good luck out there. Stay healthy and have fun!

**Instruction videos courtesy of KoaFit**

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