Actually, “trusty” might be a stretch – my current condo’s treadmill (and other equipment) is a POC (piece of crap) – but it’s better than nothing and it gets the job done!
Before you do any sort of running, it’s a good idea to do a little assessment of your joints, especially your ankles, knees and hips.
How’s everything feeling?
If you have foot problems, misalignment can spread up to your knees and hips. That’s been the case for me in the past (I was the flat-footed girl with the nerdy, orthotic-accommodating shoes), but recently I’ve directed extra attention to thinking about and developing proper alignment, and not only gone without my orthotics but transitioned to minimalist shoes.
Dr Irvine's exercises for healthy feet
Forgoing orthotics or switching to minimalist shoes may or may not be the right path for you, but regardless of what’s on your feet when you run, I hope you’ll find value in the following interview with my former employer Dr Stacy Irvine of Totum Life Science in Toronto on CityLine with Tracy Moore. It’s really helped me beef up my knowledge and action on the foot-form front. Read about it here.
Now that you’re savvy on getting your feet strong and healthy, it’s time to run!
I’m a big fan of interval training but can’t stress enough the importance of developing proper alignment, significantly warming up, and directing all of your attention to form throughout your run.
No spacing out! No sloppy crashing around. Focus. Work on developing those neuromuscular connections so your likelihood of injury goes way down.
Here’s what I love to do to get nice and warm and then push myself with sprint intervals:
Warm Up: 10 Minutes
- Minute 1 to 2: Walking at a brisk pace, do a full body scan focusing on proper alignment from head to toe
- Minute 3: Keep walking and begin to focus on your breath, fully expanding your lungs from front to back, top to bottom, and side to side
- Minute 4: Keep walking and do 10 shoulder circles forward, 10 shoulder circles backward, 10 right arm circles forward, 10 right arm circles backward, 10 left arm circles forward, and 10 left arm circles backward
- Minute 5: Keeping the same speed, turn your body 90 degrees counter clockwise, hold onto the handrail with your right hand, and side shuffle to the right
- Minute 6: Carefully rotate 180 degrees and side shuffle to the left, holding onto the handrail with your left hand
- Minute 7 to 9: Increase speed to a jog
Sprint Intervals: 8 Minutes
- Minute 10 to 17: Alternate between 1 minute of sprinting (fast enough to really challenge yourself but slow enough to keep perfect form) and 1 minute of jogging
Cool Down: 2 Minutes
- Minute 18 to19: Decrease speed to a walk
- Minute 20: Stretch!