Yesterday’s mail included 3 new fitness magazines. One is the trade magazine I get from the organization that certifies me, the second is a Yoga magazine and the last was a general fitness magazine. My first thought is that it’s amazing I still have this much PRINT at a time in our lives when everything is digital. At the risk of showing my age, there are aspects of print I still really enjoy, which is why Mitch and I decided to once again renew our newspaper subscription. I bring that up because that bill was also in yesterday’s mail. What was once the best deal in town, is now $360.00 bucks a year, for something, that in all fairness, given that print is becoming obsolete, should be given away!
FROM THE WATER TO THE LAND
Anyway….there were several articles about swimming and running, which were certainly of interest to me as I spend this summer working on my swimming and my running. One of the most beautiful aspects of swimming is that it is a great workout, offering lots of different options for strokes to focus on strengthening different parts of the body while naturally preventing over-use injuries. I have been trying to log about 100 laps a week, which sounds aggressive, but remember this is in my backyard swimming pool, which I can get across in just a few strokes. Someday I will bring my swimming to a pool that looks more like this:
But then, there’s running. While I will never be fast enough to actually be a “runner,” I have revisited jogging this summer and am aiming to hit the ground (outdoors) twice a week. While Jane and I include sprinting and some jogging in our workouts during the school year, we never do any kind of distance running (or we haven’t so far) so I am working on slowly increasing my mileage (or more accurately my time spent running without pause). When I started a few weeks ago, I started with a 1 mile run and have been adding a little each week. Yesterday, I did a little over 2 miles in my 30 minute outing. But here’s the big problem with running:
A review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that up to 80% of recreational runners that log more than three miles a workout, eventually suffer a lower-body injury.
This can be hip pain, runner’s knee, shin splints or tendinitis. 2 of the biggest causes of these pains are 1) increasing mileage too quickly and 2) wearing the wrong sneakers. Experts recommend that new runners increase mileage by only 10% a week. Additionally, if you have been running on a treadmill you will want to cut your mileage in half when switching to the street, and then use the 10% rule to increase your distance. Using this formula, I increased my mileage too much, too quickly, which might be the reason my low back is bothering me this week. Also remember how important a proper fitting and supporting sneaker is. While many like the minimalist shoe, you need to transition to these slowly as well. Wearing them too long too soon can cause fractures.
THE GREAT BALANCING ACT
As with all things in life, balance is everything. Avoid overuse injuries by mixing things up and cross training. Runners definitely will stay stronger and healthier by supplementing their runs with workouts that are void of impact, such as swimming, yoga and/or Pilates. Remember that fitness is forever and if you want to stay in the game it’s all about balance.