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Sharp Health News

5 things to know before starting a running program

April 26, 2016

5 things to know before starting a running program

Stewart Sanders, physical therapist and director of Sharp Rees-Stealy’s Running Clinic gives patient Erica Carlson a running assessment.

Living in San Diego provides the good fortune of fabulous weather and great opportunities to participate in physical fitness. Our region is perfect for cycling, swimming, triathlons, soccer, running and more. With that athletic activity comes the potential for injury — some as simple as bumps and bruises, but others due to repetitive use, or mechanical breakdown.

One of the most common activities that result in injury from poor mechanics or overuse is running. Often times, there are certain faults in one's running mechanics that can be attributed to muscle weakness, tissue tightness or lack of coordination between body segments. It is important to be assessed by a medical professional who is knowledgeable about the involved functional anatomy of running. A professional can assess your needs and make specific recommendations on how to begin a running program to prevent a strain or injury that may cut one's running career short.

Stewart Sanders, physical therapist and director of Sharp Rees-Stealy's Running Clinic, offers these tips on starting a running program.

1. Begin your running program by establishing a plan of attack.
Having a good game plan is a great way to begin any successful program. Write down your goals and list what you want to achieve from your running experience.

2. Get a biomechanical running assessment from a medical professional.
Identify potential trouble spots in your mechanics before you start putting a lot of miles on your body. Visit a medical professional a month before you start running to establish your mechanical foundation.

3. Choose the appropriate running shoes.
Advice from your medical professional can help you determine what types of shoe may be good for you; but the real test is being comfortable in your gear.

4. Support your exercise with good diet and adequate rest.
It is important to fuel yourself appropriately and allow your body proper recovery time between runs. Talk with your doctor or visit a nutritionist to create a meal plan that is best for you and your running plan.

5. Find your motivation and take the first step.
Now comes the hardest part: taking that first step. Determine what type of condition and environment you will be most successful in to reach your goals. Find another individual or a group to maintain motivation and enjoy the comradery of others. Another way to maintain compliance is to keep a running log or use one of the many apps that can track your running.

A good service like the Sharp Rees-Stealy Running Clinic can help you stay healthy and active. Expert physical therapists offer runners a more in-depth analysis of running mechanics by using slow-motion video capture along with an examination of various biomechanical variables.

Running clinic

A detailed examination can determine what factors may be related to real or potential injury, recommend any necessary medical treatment, and prevent or reduce re-injury. Recommendations can also be made for shoe wear, training, exercise, stretching, running style and custom orthotics. Learn more about an upcoming Sharp Rees-Stealy Running Clinic.

For the media: To learn more about Sharp Rees-Stealy's Running Clinic, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at erica.carlson@sharp.com or 858-499-3052.

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