10 essential rules for practicing healthy running

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Setting up realistic and achievable goals for yourself

Objectives and distances should be realistic sources of motivation. Start with a running program that is a logical step forward from your previous program. Being too ambitious in terms of distance and time increases the risk of injuries.

 

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Listen to your body

One of the key factors in the prevention of injuries is a proper balance of stress applied to muscles, tendons, bones and joints… giving them time to adapt. Be smart! If you feel pain, you may want to reduce the intensity or frequency of your physical routine and take a rest for a few days. 

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Selecting the right running shoe

Select a minimalist running shoe model (TRC rating>70%) in which you feel super comfortable. These shoes are much less disruptive to natural biomechanical components and foot development and are therefore recommended for beginners.  

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Keep good rhythm

It is advisable to take small steps (3 per second or 180 per minute) to reduce the risk of injuries and improve your time. Stay away from big strides, and beware that smaller steps does not equate to faster times! 

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Run as often as possible

Did you know that running four to six times a week, instead of two to three times, actually reduces your risk of injury? The body needs to create muscle memory in order to strengthen itself and learn the gestural sequences used in running. 

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Varying running surfaces

The odds of developing an -itis (such as tendinitis, bursitis, fasciitis, etc.) can be lessened by avoiding excessive repetition. Different running surfaces force your body to vary its movements, reducing the risk of injury. However, remember that new running surfaces should be phased in. 

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Refining your biomechanics

A good run is one done in minimalist shoes, with a rhythm or cadence near 180 strides per minute. The foot should strike the ground almost silently. 

 

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Strengthening your weak link

Running barefoot is a great way to strengthen the body and reduce the risk of injury. Selecting a safe surface and integrating an extra minute per week are good ways to achieve this. Several other forms of strengthening exercises can also be added to your running regimen.

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Alleviating stiffness with stretches

Stretches should only be performed by those who experience muscular stiffness and never shortly before or after training. Short stretches can be done in sequences of one to three 30-second sessions, at night, before going to bed, a few times a week. Make sure to engage each of your large leg muscles.

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Change those around you

 

Running will become a passion. After a few weeks of perseverance, you will become hooked and you will try to convince everyone around you to start running. Good for you! Go on, keep on running!

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