by Keith Paine ..

Are you gunning for your first marathon? Or are you someone who’s just hoping to add running into your fitness program? Either way, we’d like to offer you some guidance in avoiding some classic beginner’s mistakes, avoiding injury, and really enjoying your progress as a runner. So, here’s our runner’s top 5 :

1. OVER – TRAINING — Trying to do much too soon! Commit to building up gradually, week by week, to your goal distance and speed. Think about adding a couple of miles to your total mileage each week. For you marathoners, don’t run the race before the race!

2. LACK OF A STRENGTH BASE – I noticed something interesting during the training for my first marathon: my cardiovascular system adapted very quickly to increased mileage–it was my muscular tissue that was really being challenged. Whether your muscle tissue can handle the amount of work, and whether your joints can stay properly aligned as you get fatigued, are very important issues. Do strength work before and during your running training.

3. SAME DISTANCE / SAME PACE – Variety is key in any kind of training, and running is no different. Vary your course, distance and speed. And start throwing in some hills! In the second half of my NYC marathon, it was easy to tell who had done hill training and who had not. Work from quality (faster, shorter runs) to quantity (longer runs) each week.

4. LIMITED PROGRAM – Running is not enough! To improve as a runner, there’s a lot of facets to a successful program: strength exercises, stretching, hydration and myofascial release are all key to getting better and staying ahead of injury. You should think about doing muscle activation exercises and hydrating before each run, stretching afterwards, and doing strength work and fascial rolling every week. At Nimble Fitness, we use the Trigger Point system (pictured) to roll through tight facial tissue in the hips, thighs and calves for optimal function.

5. LACK OF RECOVERY – Running is very repetitive exercise—you’re using the same muscle tissue in the same plane of motion, over and over again. Let your muscles rest and reset, or you will eventually run into compensation (where other muscles try to do the work of fatigued tissue) and injury. If you’re a beginner, take a day off between runs.

For more information about key activation exercises, myofascial work or strength training for running, contact us at info@nimblefitness.com or call us at 212-633-9030.

Enjoy your runs!!

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