With studios, gyms and pools closed and exercise among the few legitimate reasons people are allowed to venture out of the house, you only need to look around at local parks and running tracks to see the spike in people engaging in running-based exercise.
Whilst our body relies on exercise and movement to maintain metabolic function, postural strength, conditioning and mental health, it is particularly important during this time to employ simple strategies to create a sustainable exercise routine and avoid injury setbacks.
The key is to work on your distance, or your pace, but not both at the same time. Start by working on your distance at a comfortable speed (say approx. 60% pace). Slowly build up your distance over time, increasing by 10-15% per week. Once you are 3-4 weeks into your distance program, you can add a pace run into your routine by reducing the distance back to a very comfortable level and increase the pace by 10%. Each week, increase your pace run by 10%. As you’re navigating uncharted running loads, listen to your bodies fatigue cues and utilise walk-run intervals if you need.
If you need more structure, follow an online program such as Couch to 5kmor have a bespoke program curated by a coach. Oh, and take a raincheck on training with a housemate who is fitter or quicker than you, until you’ve built up a fundamental level of fitness and conditioning.
Hone your finer self.
Running and walking are both exercises that are dominated the large, global muscles (unless you apply specific technique training), so in order to ensure the core and stabilising muscles are engaged and conditioned, it is best to incorporate cross training days between run days. Workouts that are slow, controlled and alignment-focused will target your weaknesses and perfectly compliment the higher intensity cardo training. Harvard Medical School recommends undertaking all four types of exercise into your weekly schedule; aerobic, strengthening, stretching and balance. Online Pilates and yoga classes are an effective way to concurrently strengthen, tone and lengthen muscles as well as improve balance and proprioception.
During this time, it is essential that you uplevel your self-management strategies.
A daily ritual of foam roller releasing, stretching your tight muscles and rolling your feet over a tennis ball (or frozen water bottle), particularly after training, can pay major dividends. Keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram @emily_braidwood for self-care video demonstrations and tutorials.
Supporting your feet with sophisticated, science-backed insoles i.e. the Emily Braidwood footbeds help to align the feet and ankles, minimise soft tissue overload and provide shock absorption. Better yet, they are transferable between all styles of shoes, are reusable and skin-stickable, so are perfect for your barefoot workouts. Also investing in well-fitted, well-structured running shoes is important for any time you are clocking up steps or doing cardio work.
If you are experiencing pain or niggles, call your trusted Podiatrist, Physiotherapist or Sports Physician and ask about face-to-face and telehealth options. A prompt response to an acute injury can be a stitch in time. If you are in need of advice, feel free to email email@example.com as I am offering free 15 minute consultations to our EB VIP community during this time.